Industry partnerships inspired by University life sciences showcase

The pioneering, eighteen-month, Industry & Academia Exchange (IAX) programme funded through the Medical Research Council’s Proximity to Discovery Scheme, got underway with an inspiring showcase event at Winstanley House in Leicester.

The one-day IAX showcase brought together over 100 academic scientists, clinicians and top healthcare, bio-medical and pharmaceutical organisations from across the UK, to forge engagement opportunities, identify two-way people secondments and research project ideas that can be taken forward in the future.

The audience were captivated by a series of fast-paced, snapshot presentations and videos of other industry exchanges from across the globe, followed by one-to-one partnering speed-networking sessions.  

Keynote speaker, Jo Pisani, Pharmaceutical and Life Science Consulting Leader at PwC, presented a thought-provoking futuristic view of the world of healthcare. She said: “I am delighted to have been involved in this inaugural IAX showcase event.

“Pharmaceutical, biotech, and medical device companies confront a challenging competitive landscape in the new health economy. Pricing pressures, scientific breakthroughs, expanding demand for health care access, and emerging digital and analytic capabilities push companies to explore new business models and build value-based customer relationships.

“Effective collaborations between academia, healthcare and the Life Sciences industry will be key to this success.”

The overall IAX programme seeks to find creative ways to drive engagement by creating new and building upon existing relationships between academia and life sciences companies.

The University of Leicester College of Life Sciences, is led by Pro-Vice-Chancellor Professor Philip Baker who also spoke at the event. He said: "The University historically has outstanding achievements in field the Life Sciences encompassing developments in forensic psychology, DNA fingerprinting and vital advances in fighting heart disease, cancer, respiratory diseases and diabetes.

“This event is the first in a series of innovative activity that will be delivered over the next 18 months under the ‘IAX’ banner. We want the University to continue to forge valuable industry partnerships that could ultimately lead to new, life-changing healthcare, bio-medical and pharmaceutical developments.”