Wellcome and KU Leuven are joining forces to transform great ideas and inventions into treatments and cures for diseases

18 Feb 2020 | Network Updates | Update from KU Leuven
These updates are republished press releases and communications from members of the Science|Business Network

The British health research foundation Wellcome and KU Leuven are entering into a partnership to foster a vibrant knowledge translation system for leveraging KU Leuven’s research excellence to deliver benefits for society. From 1 January 2020, both partners will invest in a joint pilot initiative to further boost the KU Leuven innovation processes and to offer KU Leuven researchers access to expertise going beyond the purely scientific in the early stages of innovation.

For the last four years, KU Leuven has topped the Reuters ranking of Europe’s most innovative universities. Since the founding of KU Leuven Research & Development in 1972 as one of Europe’s first technology transfer offices, KU Leuven has established an international reputation for translating research results to society. Many of its technology transfer success stories have provided, and still provide, far-reaching benefits to people's lives across the globe.

This new partnership will expand and strengthen KU Leuven’s knowledge transfer activities, and support researchers in taking their ideas from scientific discovery to real world impact. Researchers can face a number of barriers in these initial steps and often need more than just financial support, including mentorship, prototyping and regulatory advice. Making the transition between discovery science and translation easier is one of the core aims of Wellcome’s Innovation funding.

“Thanks to the partnership with Wellcome, we will be able to build our spin-off companies on stronger foundations, providing them with extra competitive advantages to tackle challenges and grow successfully”, says Paul Van Dun, General Manager of KU Leuven Research & Development. “This joint initiative will allow us to deepen our expertise in regulatory affairs, to conduct even more extensive market research, to make business cases stronger and to attract experienced entrepreneurs who can support our projects.” 

“We are delighted to embark upon this new partnership. KU Leuven has a strong track record of translating scientific discoveries and we look forward to working together to implement new ways of driving translation forward into real world impact”, says Morag Foreman, Senior Partner, Wellcome.

About Wellcome
Wellcome exists to improve health by helping great ideas to thrive. We support researchers, we take on big health challenges, we campaign for better science, and we help everyone get involved with science and health research. Wellcome is a politically and financially independent foundation. 
More information: https://wellcome.ac.uk/

About KU Leuven
As the number one European university for innovation, KU Leuven actively invests in launching innovative technologies in the commercial market by creating spin-off companies, securing and licensing intellectual property, and collaborating with industry. KU Leuven supports researchers and students in transforming their innovative ideas and technologies into commercial products and services that impact people’s lives worldwide. As such, KU Leuven encourages young entrepreneurs to develop a solid business plan, to validate the market and build a coherent team. Since its creation in 1972, KU Leuven Research & Development has supported the creation and growth of 128 spin-off companies, directly employing more than 6,700 people. KU Leuven’s spin-off companies constitute a huge economic leverage for the Leuven region. In the period from 2005 to 2018, KU Leuven invested €12.5 million in its spin-off companies, and €1 billion of external capital was raised. 103 of KU Leuven’s spin-off companies, of which the first was established in 1979, are still active today. Many have an international leading position. Seven spin-off companies have had an Initial Public Offering (IPO) on the stock exchange. More information: https://lrd.kuleuven.be/en

This article was published by KU Leuven 

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