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The impact of COVID-19 on industry-academia collaborations

Online event

Overview

This online event will explore the effects of the COVID-19 pandemic on research translation practices and business-academia collaborations. The main topics for discussion will revolve around removing barriers to translation, reducing bureaucracy, recognising the need for urgency and establishing quick and efficient collaborations. 

The meeting comprises a series of short talks followed by a panel discussion. The ultimate aim is to understand how practices and attitudes have changed during the pandemic, what was the outcome of those changes and identify any lessons learned.

Details about the speakers and discussions will be available closer to the event. 

Please note that this online meeting is by invitation only. If you wish to attend please contact the Industry team with a short paragraph detailing why you are interested in this event.

Schedule of talks

05 November

15:00-15:05

Welcome & Opening remarks

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15:00-15:05

Dame Sue Ion FREng FRS, Chair of the Royal Society Science, Industry and Translation Committee

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15:05-15:15

From concept to market: rapid innovation during covid-19 – emerging lessons from UCL Ventura

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15:05-15:15

Dr Celia Caulcott, Vice-Provost (Enterprise), UCL

Abstract

In response to the government Ventilator Challenge, UCL worked with a wide range of private and public sector partners including Mercedes-AMG HPP and doctors from University College Hospital to develop and bring to market the UCL Ventura, a continuous positive airway pressure (CPAP) device that is now in use in 115 NHS hospitals, with the designs downloaded by 105 countries worldwide and devices being manufactured and tested in over 30 countries including Australia, Brazil, Ecuador, Germany, Iran, Mexico, Peru, Pakistan, South Africa and the USA, among other places. The key elements to this success will be discussed.

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15:15-15:25

Collaboration and technology insight, a perspective on VentilatorChallengeUK

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15:15-15:25

Brian Holliday CEng FIET, Managing Director - Siemens Digital Industries

Abstract

In March this year, Government set industry a challenge - to turn UK supply chains to critical ventilator production - quickly. VentilatorChallengeUK (VCUK), a consortium of cross-sector engineering businesses formed around the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, responded and produced thousands of mechanical ventilators for the NHS. Egoless collaboration, meritocracy and technology all played their part. Digital twins, Simulation and Virtual Reality helped remote working engineers to create new production facilities and processes at record pace. Hundreds of operators were trained through innovative digital aids. GKN, Airbus, Ford, McLaren, Siemens and Rolls Royce were amongst the firms who contributed resources and expertise. 

Brian will provide a brief introduction to VCUK and an insight to his team’s experience of working with Airbus to produce key sub assemblies in shortened timescales. He will also touch on an integrated Hackathon that enabled a significant manufacturing calibration challenge to be solved in just 4 days by early career professionals and will speculate on some of the resultant lessons learned. 

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15:25-15:35

Science at scale: Delivery with purpose

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15:25-15:35

Professor Chris Molloy, CEO, Medicines Discovery Catapult

Abstract

The Lighthouse Lab network was established at a time of intense national crisis and scrutiny. It reflected the very best of the UK’s ability to co-operate, nationalise and adapt. Its simple mission and purpose attracted skills, assets and intense commitment from across the nation including an army of skilled volunteers, loaned capital assets and instinctive assistance from clinical, regulatory and logistics. As we move through phases of the pandemic the national expansion of the lighthouse facilities and adoption of new private and public sector solutions for different use cases, the lessons forged in phase 1 are being applied and the UK has a foundation for a stronger future in diagnostics.

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15:35-15:45

COVID a common enemy

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Ian McCubbin OBE: BIA Expert Advisory Group Lead advising the UKG Vaccines Task Force, Chairman RoslinCT

Abstract

As the UK entered into 2020 many thought that there was little capability in the UK to create and industrialise vaccines. They were wrong. Through collaboration between Academia, Industry and Government robust supply chains were created for the Oxford/AZ vaccine and technology developed for the Imperial RNA vaccine. This short presentation will explain how the amazing BIA community rallied together to build these supply chains and evolved to become a significant part of the UK Vaccines Task Force.

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15:45-15:55

Turning science into medicine: The power of collaboration

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15:45-15:55

Sir Menelas (Mene) Pangalos PhD FRSB FMedSci, Executive Vice President & President BioPharmaceuticals R&D, AstraZeneca

Abstract

The rate of change across healthcare is more rapid than ever before and although this year has been challenging, it has forced us to think progressively about how we enable and execute the discovery and development of the next wave of life-changing medicines to patients. 

AstraZeneca has rapidly mobilised its research efforts to combat COVID-19 in response to the global pandemic. Our internal experts are joining forces with international health authorities, governments, academia and industry peers to accelerate the development of medicines to prevent or treat the infection, to boost diagnostic testing, and to help protect healthcare workers on the frontline.

Through our scientific expertise in infectious disease and proprietary antibody discovery technology, we are developing a long-acting antibody combination, AZD7442 as a potential treatment and prevention of COVID-19 disease. Then in April, we announced a landmark agreement with the University of Oxford for the global development and supply of a potential COVID-19 vaccine, AZD1222. Late-stage clinical development of AZD1222 is progressing globally, enrolling up to 50,000 participants and so far, we have built global capacity to supply towards three billion doses, building a number of supply chains in parallel across the world.

Alongside our focus to find new and preventative treatment approaches towards COVID-19, we are also accelerating the development of our diagnostic testing capabilities and in the UK, we formed a collaboration with GSK and the University of Cambridge to support the government’s national effort to boost COVID-19 testing. Together, we set up a new testing laboratory in 5 weeks – an operation that would usually take six months.

With the COVID-19 pandemic claiming thousands of lives daily, defeating COVID-19 requires a collective effort from everyone working in healthcare and we are committed to playing our part. 

 

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15:55-16:00

Short break

16:00-17:00

Panel discussion

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Chairs

Dame Sue Ion FREng FRS, Chair of the Royal Society Science, Industry and Translation Committee

16:00-17:00 How did research translation practices and attitudes change during the pandemic and what was the outcome of those changes

Professor Chris Molloy, CEO, Medicines Discovery Catapult
Brian Holliday CEng FIET, Managing Director - Siemens Digital Industries
Sir Menelas (Mene) Pangalos PhD FRSB FMedSci, Executive Vice President & President BioPharmaceuticals R&D, AstraZeneca
Dr Michael Reynier, Principal Partnerships Manager (Public Sector & the Professions), Business Innovation Partnerships, UCL Innovation & Enterprise

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