University of Leicester wins funding to boost Industry engagement

Posted by ap507 at Jun 15, 2016 11:41 AM |
MRC Proximity to Discovery fund awards £150K to increase opportunities for collaborative interaction between academia and industry

Issued by University of Leicester Press Office on 15 June 2016

The University of Leicester has received £150K from the Medical Research Council (MRC) in order to develop new academic-industry partnerships.

The University’s College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology has been awarded the sum from the Proximity to Discovery: Industry Engagement Fund - a new scheme which aims to support early interactions and knowledge exchange between industry and academic researchers.  A total of £3.3m to 17 universities has been awarded.

The funds will be used to:

-      Host a Homecoming Alumni Event which will grow relationships between University of Leicester Alumni now working in pharmaceutical and biotech companies.

-      Develop a pool of experts who could help with ad hoc project development related queries by University of Leicester academics.

-      Deliver a series of lunchtime Drug Discovery and Diagnostics Development workshops, led by Industry experts.

-      Launch calls for small scale people exchange projects between University of Leicester and the Life Science Industry.

Professor Philip Baker, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology, Dean of Medicine who was the lead applicant for this award, said: “It is critically important that the College translates our exciting biomedical discoveries for patient benefit. This award is part of our overall strategy to ensure that we establish robust partnerships with colleagues in the pharmaceutical and life science industries.”

The latest awards contribute to a total of £1M received from the MRC to support translational research.

Dr Ismael Tejero, Business Development Manager of the College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology and co-applicant, said: “With highly trained staff, state-of-the-art research infrastructure and co-localisation with clinical academics from the University Hospitals of Leicester, our Leicester Drug Discovery and Diagnostics Centre is successfully progressing basic research projects conducted at the University into new medicines and treatments for patients. We already have solid links with many of the world’s largest pharmaceutical companies including GlaxoSmithKline and AstraZeneca and this award from MRC will definitely help us to establish more collaborations between external partners and our researchers.”

The MRC is making a total of £23.3m awards of which Leicester has been successful in securing £1M in Confidence in Concept and Proximity to Discovery awards. The MRC is accelerating innovative medical research with funding to take ground-breaking ideas from UK universities into industry and out to patients.  


Notes to editors:

For more information contact Dr Andrea Koekemoer on     

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