The KTN attended the half day BioBeat17 event held at the Crick Institute in London on November 16th. 

Organised by BioBeat founder Miranda Weston-Smith and hosted by Véronique Birault from the Crick, the event showcased women in biobusiness including many who featured in the 50 Movers & Shakers in BioBusiness 2017 list drawn up by BioBeat. This included representatives from the Crick Institute, entrepreneurs and investors. The event’s theme this year was “Re-shaping biotech partnering”.

The summit started with a case study presented by Lucy Collinson from the Crick about their partnership with a number of companies with the aim of developing equipment to improve identification of the area of interest in microtome slices for electron microscopy.

The topic of biotech partnering with research institutes was broadened in the subsequent panel discussion chaired by Véronique Birault. Some of the subjects discussed were pre-competitive collaboration, the role universities and research institutes can play in supporting start-ups, and the challenge for small companies to identify suitable academic/research institute partners.

The final session was a panel discussion on partnering and careers permeability. This was chaired by Kate Bingham of SV Health Ventures. Topics discussed here included the funding for biotech companies in the UK as compared to the US, which was seen to offer better opportunities because of the higher number of specialist healthcare funds and a higher tolerance to risk. However, some models of investment in the UK are encouraging entrepreneurship, exemplified by the approach of the IP Group. Good examples of career permeability were also in evidence with the Crick having an entrepreneur in residence, medium and large companies offering internships that are seen as very valuable (e.g. GSK), and the BBSRC LIDo PhD programme allowing cutting edge industry/academia partnerships. There was general agreement that more career permeability opportunities would be beneficial for all parties involved.

A networking session with drinks and nibbles concluded a successful event.

Share this article