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March 6, 2015.
The UK's BioIndustry Association (BIA) has called on the government to create a more supportive environment for translation of academic research into broader benefits. While accepting that government initiatives - including the Biomedical Catalyst and a focus on supporting strategically important areas, such as regenerative medicine and synthetic biology - have helped to spur much collaboration between university partners and industry, BIA called upon UK policymakers also to look at: • Technology transfer office (TTO) processes and incentives that align with those of industry and value longer term benefits over short- to medium term revenues • Improving the technology transfer experience, building a culture and framework within academic departments that supports and rewards researchers to collaborate with industry and appropriate incentives to do so, and • Increased funding for industrial PhDs, larger scale grants to employ more post-doctoral researchers on a project for longer, and funding to enable purchase of expensive but industrially relevant equipment, e.g. for biomanufacturing. BIA Chief Executive Officer Steve Bates said: “Translational activities are core to the life sciences sector to ensure the innovative research undertaken in the UK’s world leading science base can be appropriately taken forward to market and, ultimately, made of use to patients. So it is vital the next government continues to support schemes that have delivered such great benefits in this area … and examines best practices in the technology transfer process." Source: BIA