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Babraham announce initiative in open-innovation

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11 October 2012

Three leading Cambridge based organisations today reaffirmed their commitment to the open-innovation agenda through a new initiative at the heart of the Cambridge Bioscience cluster. The new collaboration aims to identify new therapeutic treatments, with the premise that early-stage collaboration maximises success.

The three organisations are:

  • The Babraham Research Campus – home to both the BBSRC-funded Babraham Institute and 35 early stage biomedical enterprises within its Bioincubator
  • Neusentis – a division of Pfizer
  • MedImmune – the biologics arm of Astra Zeneca

The aim of greater co-operation and 'open innovation' between the parties is to increase the flow of knowledge, to identify opportunities and to reduce barriers to early-stage discussions. Neusentis and MedImmune, although not located on the campus, are a key part of the Babraham Research Campus community, attending lectures, sharing access to expertise and campus infrastructure, as well as being welcomed to campus events. Neusentis and MedImmune benefit from the early-stage interactions with the academic community and the companies located at the campus. Both Neusentis and MedImmune in return are committed to opening up their organisations, providing the Babraham Research Campus community with opportunities to access resources, skills and technologies that are not available at the campus.

Derek Jones, CEO Babraham Bioscience Technologies, with responsibility for the bio-incubator facilities at the campus said, "We have always had a good working relationship with both Neusentis and MedImmune, which being located at Granta Park are our close neighbours. We realised there was more that we could do together to encourage interactions; not being located on the campus should not be a barrier to working closely with the vibrant ecosystem at Babraham. Our approach is that the infrastructure, capabilities and resources we have created here should be available to the wider community. I am greatly encouraged by the approach Neusentis and MedImmune have articulated. I look forward to being able to announce specific initiatives and projects centred on these relationships."

Jane Osbourn, Cambridge Site Lead and Vice President of R&D for MedImmune said, "The Babraham Research Campus is a fantastic source of knowledge, ideas and expertise on our doorstep. The building of more open and interactive relationships with Babraham and Neusentis scientists through this initiative can only serve to expedite scientific information and skill exchange, together with collaboration and idea generation across our joint communities. MedImmune is very excited by the opportunity created by this open-innovation initiative and we're committed to help drive it forward."

Dr Ruth McKernan, Senior Vice President of Pfizer and Chief Scientific officer at Pfizer's Cambridge Research Unit, Neusentis added, "One of the great advantages of being in a biotech hub like Cambridge is that we can work closely with some of the most innovative groups in the world. I am looking forward to greater interaction with the scientists and companies at the Babraham Campus."

ENDS

About BBSRC

BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.

Funded by Government, and with an annual budget of around £445M (2011-2012), we support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

For more information about BBSRC, our science and our impact see: www.bbsrc.ac.uk.
For more information about BBSRC strategically funded institutes see: www.bbsrc.ac.uk/institutes.