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.
This communication was first published 25 November 2019 by KU Leuven.