Our latest webinar was part of our COVID-19 ‘Open Call for Research’ series which aims to provide R&D teams, academics and university TTOs with unique insights into how COVID-19 has changed approaches to collaboration and commercialisation. We invited a panel of university technology transfer professionals to discuss their experiences working with industry during the pandemic, with a particular focus on how they approached research collaboration and established agreements around COVID-19 related research and technology. The full webinar recording can be found here.
While our COVID-19 Open Call for Research is now closed to submissions, our final webinar in this series is on Tuesday 6th July with three professionals from research commercialisation, industry and academia. We’ll soon be launching another open call for research, watch out for the announcement!
Following an in-depth discussion with our host Stephen Muddimer, we opened up the floor for questions from our attendees. The first of our audience’s questions lead to some particularly interesting points, which we have summarised below.
Did universities find they had more interest in COVID-19 technologies from companies they had existing relationships with or from companies that they had not worked with before?
Due to the fast-moving nature of the pandemic, our panellists initially looked at ways to support academic researchers who had the potential to make adaptations to their existing technologies to meet the need for rapid solutions. Companies also took this approach, focussing on quickly producing and manufacturing products such as vaccines and PPE which could be based on existing research or products in their portfolio as well as adapting their quality control protocols and supply chains.
Our panellists said that they initially worked with companies they had established relationships with through previous or ongoing collaborative projects enabling them to progress faster with collaborative research and development than if they worked with a company they were unfamiliar with. Universities also worked with consortia which were established during the pandemic, which encouraged broader collaboration to achieve a common objective.
As the pandemic continued, more companies and university research teams changed their research focus to COVID-19 innovations. Our panellists found that they were receiving more interest in their universities technologies from companies they hadn’t worked with before.
Our panellists also found that despite their predictions of a fall of available research funding from companies, funding availability actually increased particularly from local industry. An example of this was presented by Andrew Bailey who was in contact with university research groups working on TB and HIV therapeutics which received more funding from industry for this project, in order to establish if the technique could also be used to treat COVID-19 infections as well as providing additional funding for the projects’ original purposes.
Access the full recording of the webinar:
Written by Fran Wilkinson. Edited by Ruth Kirk.
Copyrights reserved unless otherwise agreed – IN-PART Publishing Ltd., 2021: ‘Establishing successful university-industry COVID-19 collaborations‘
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