In recent years there has been a fantastic increase in the appetite of scientists to engage in translation and innovation. Earlier this year, Wellcome together with the Royal Society, Academy of Medical Sciences and the Royal Academy of Engineering, set out a series of commitments - "Transforming UK Translation”. This is incredibly encouraging and something to celebrate and build on.
I am convinced that there is so much more that can be done - starting by making it easier for researchers/teams to translate their finding or discovery forward to real world impact. For Wellcome this is an imperative - we fund a lot science - so we want to make sure that there is every opportunity for the great scientific discoveries to be used to help people around the world. One of the core aims of our innovation strategy is to make the transition between science and translation much, much easier.
To help make this happen the Innovations team have launched a new set of partnerships with six universities to help encourage and stimulate translation within their ecosystems.
With our partners we are developing a variety of activities (seed funds, mentorship, entrepreneurs in residence, etc) that will help encourage and increase translation - particularly but not exclusively - for Wellcome supported scientists.
These are genuine partnerships - we work together and will make joint decisions on funding - and will agreed a set of success measures. In addition to providing some financial support, Wellcome will also provide additional resources including access to our network of advisors, experts and mentors. We will hold regular meetings for the partners - to encourage interaction between them, share good practice and we will help with introductions to other potential partners, funders and investors to help take promising advances beyond the early stage.
We will continue to identify new partners because in the long term we want to build a broad global network of translation and innovation. We hope that together we can share experience, learn from each other and develop new models of collaboration.
The purpose is simple - to make translation and innovation happen faster, more effectively and with much greater impact.