How the University of Bristol and Innovate UK are driving research & innovation to deliver prosperity to the UK

Leigh Jenkins
Marketing Manager - Innovation | Enterprise Europe Network
10th April 2017

The University of Bristol's EPSRC-funded BristolBridge project is a cross-faculty initiative working on antimicrobial resistance research (AMR). BristolBridge funds pump-priming projects and builds interdisciplinary collaborations between physical scientists, engineers, mathematicians, biomedical scientists, clinicians and veterinary scientists from across the University and with partners from healthcare and industry, to explore novel and multisdisciplinary ways of tackling the escalating threat of AMR.      

Such potentially transformative research requires innovation to translate into clinical practice to benefit patients and human and animal health, and also commercialisation of the research outcomes to generate revenue creating streams to benefit the UK economy. 

On 3rd April, at the University's School of Chemistry, speakers from across the innovation and commercialisation landscape met with AMR researchers from various disciplines to discuss the issues and help identify initiatives to progress their research through to commercialisation.

The event was jointly organised by Enterprise Europe Network (EEN) and BristolBridge to identify how open innovation and access to UK and international grants could foster and promote research development and innovation and what steps are necessary to then monetize their ideas.

Innovate UK's family members all contributed significantly to the event. Speakers from EEN talked about international opportunities for funding and collaboration, IP and developing business models/value propositions and the entrepreneurship skills necessary for success. The Knowledge Transfer Network and The Medicines Discovery Catapult Centre discussed the innovation support and resources available to researchers from UK government and forthcoming funding schemes. The University’s Dr Michele Barbour of Pertinax Pharma described her journey in setting up a University spin-out which provided deep insight into how research can be turned into successful innovation and revenue generating activity.

Paul O'Collins of EEN emphasised the need to monetize research, how innovation should be considered as the "commercial exploitation of ideas and research" and encouraged researchers to look at the commercial as well as humanitarian benefits of their work.

Colin Cooper, Head of Business Networks at Innovate UK, discussed the benefit of the event. "Bringing the Innovate UK family together to meet with world class researchers demonstrates the real power of the innovation support in this country and how Innovate UK can drive research and innovation in order to maintain our global position and deliver prosperity to the UK"

Prof Adrian Mulholland, BristolBridge Lead, commented “The importance of translating novel science into the clinic to help tackle the threat of AMR cannot be overstated. This day has really provided an excellent framework for how we may achieve this with external partners to help innovate and commercialise our research to benefit all”.  Leading on from this event, BristolBridge will host its Annual Conference to showcase the research it has funded and an Impact & Industry Day centred on building partnerships to tackle the global challenge of AMR on the 10-11th May, 2017. Partners from industry are very welcome to attend and give short talks on the AMR application areas they are interested in and the opportunities for developing partnerships in AMR research with the University of Bristol. If you would like to attend, please see registration details here:   

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