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Drive Innovation June 07, 2016

Innovation Diffusion: IN-PART Unlocks Healthcare Solutions From Universities Worldwide

Community Engagement Officer, IN-PART
Key Takeaway
Collaboration between universities & industry leads to new tech & enhanced #globalhealth - @IN_PART's @JPSpeedie

IN-PART promotes and strategically matches collaboration and commercialisation opportunities from university technology transfer offices (TTOs), to an exclusive network of senior R&D decision-makers through a bespoke online platform. Since its launch in January 2014, the IN-PART community has grown from six UK universities and 25 companies, to more than 60 universities and 500 companies worldwide. Currently based in Sheffield, London, and British Colombia, the team is now expanding its services in Europe, the US, Asia, and Australia, and has established early adopters in each region ahead of internationalisation throughout 2016. With the key drivers from both TTOs and R&D teams in mind, the system is designed to make the process of discussing commercialisation and collaboration opportunities simple and efficient. Here IN-PART’s Community Engagement Officer Margaux Lesaffre provides an update on the latest round of healthcare innovations featured on the platform:

To address their biggest challenges and open innovation needs, the healthcare industry is increasingly looking to universities for solutions. When companies engage with a university for potential collaboration, they are able to access incredible expertise, gain insights into the future of their sector, start long-term strategic partnerships, and commercialise cutting-edge technology.

The problem for businesses wishing to collaborate with universities is the difficulty in identifying the right projects, the right institutions, and the right people that will be open for engagement at the right time.

Trawling through university websites and databases of non-curated, out-dated technology are the well-walked paths to access academic innovation. This is a time-consuming process; and it’s easy to get lost among the labyrinth of disconnected and difficult-to-access sources of information. There is a clear need for engagement with university researchers to be easier, simpler, and more successful. 

IN-PART, a platform launched in the UK just over two years ago, aims to do just that. IN-PART brings universities and industries together in an intelligent and strategic way, providing personal introductions within an exclusive, free-to-access network. It is host to currently available collaboration and commercialisation opportunities from Technology Transfer Offices (TTOs) around the world, actively seeking interaction with industry.

“We need innovation, and co-operation is key. If we can enable universities to collaborate with businesses by sharing ideas and resources, then new technologies will be developed that enhance global health, the environment, and the economy,” says Patrick Speedie, IN-PART Co-founder.

Healthcare innovations on the platform range from a 30 minute, point-of-care detection test for MRSA, through to a vibration-based bone density assessment system, a defensin-inducing antimicrobial material for implants, and a candidate for a universal cancer vaccine.

Whole sectors and disease areas requiring advancement feature in detail, including the latest technologies for controlling Zika and managing diabetes, to the latest breakthroughs to tackle stroke.

The university innovations published on IN-PART are at various stages of commercialisation-readiness: from collaborative co-development projects, to long-term strategic partnership, opportunities for direct commercialisation, licensing, and potential investment. 

“IN-PART matches the right project with the right people to help unlock new avenues never even thought of, and to create solutions that will truly revolutionise industries,” says Owen Nicholson, Head of Growth at IN-PART.

IN-PART features strong relationships with the universities and science that they represent to help ensure:

  • Every innovation on the platform is available for industry interaction, and published at the request of the university and its researchers
  • Technology summaries are edited by a team of science writers to make sure they are expressed clearly and address crucial commercial questions
  • For each innovation, a university representative is at the other end of the line, ready to be approached by industry to take the next steps

In a society where innovation resonates with economic prosperity, companies that can capitalise upon innovation from universities will be among those best positioned to find the next breakthrough in healthcare.

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