How you can get involved in helping the industry–academia community solve global challenges

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IN-PART’s ‘Global Challenge’ campaigns were born out of the response to COVID-19 in March 2020. As the impacts of the pandemic began to take hold, IN-PART recognized its position at the interface of industry and academia and its responsibility to leverage its networks to generate solutions to the unfolding crisis. Through online matchmaking platforms, IN-PART simplifies the initial connection between academia and industry to take novel innovations from academia out of the lab and into the world — whether it be new medicines, healthcare technologies or sustainable energy systems. 

IN-PART’s first Global Challenge campaign, then called an ‘open call for research,’ aimed to mobilize the academia–industry community to come together around COVID-19 and to provide a clear and accelerated pathway for new innovations to be rapidly commercialized and deployed. Reallocating the capacity of its platforms and teams, IN-PART proactively disseminated new research addressing COVID-19 to companies across its global industry network, many of whom had rapidly shifted their R&D priorities towards addressing the pandemic.

Following on from this campaign, which received 174 new research projects and initiated over a hundred conversations between teams in industry and academia, IN-PART carried this model forward as a way to address some of today’s biggest challenges, including plastic sustainability, and most recently water pollution. The idea is to capture the momentum of the response to the pandemic and the egalitarian approaches taken by industry and academia in an effort to commercialize solutions that address other pressing health and environmental issues.

How do the Global Challenge campaigns work? 

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Each Global Challenge campaign runs over an initial six-week period, during which IN-PART invites the academic and research commercialization community to submit a short digest of any research, technologies or innovation addressing the issue under focus. 

During this period and for a limited time after, in-house STEM experts post each submission on IN-PART’s matchmaking platform Connect, and disseminate them to relevant individuals in its network of global R&D professionals. When a project fits with a company’s technical requirements, the IN-PART team then sets up an introduction so that a conversation can proceed to explore potential collaborations. 

During the third Global Challenge campaign, which worked to address the sustainability of plastics, polymers and PLFs, 64 conversations were initiated, with 81% of these connections being international. 30 research institutes worldwide got involved with the campaign, including the likes of Emory University, University College London and Leipzig University, with engagement gained through industry partners Pepsico, Avient and one.five.

Have your say on future Global Challenges

When identifying topics for Global Challenge campaigns, IN-PART seeks to find an issue with widespread impact and a clear demand from industry to develop solutions.

IN-PART utilizes data sources, such as survey responses from industry, to establish a consensus about what the next campaign should address. This autumn, IN-PART plans to run a campaign addressing a key challenge in global healthcare, with further life science-based campaigns planned for next year.

This is why IN-PART has compiled a short survey to gather input from biotech and pharma industry leaders. If you work in R&D, business development or open innovation, please take 10 minutes out of your day to complete this survey and help shape the work we do to address pressing issues for the biopharma industry. 

Everyone who responds will receive access to Labiotech’s 2022 Cell Therapy Industry Report and enter a draw to win a £100 (or currency equivalent) Amazon voucher. The survey launched on Monday, June 20 and will close on Friday, July 8.

Take me to the survey!


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