The Francis Crick Institute: Accelerating Translation

Knowledge Quarter partner, The Francis Crick Institute, identifies ‘Accelerating Translation for Health and Wealth’ as one of the five key priorities of the institute overall strategy ‘Discovery without Boundaries’.  Examples of how this ambition has been put into practice open opportunities for sharing scientific research as well as new fascinating fields for scientific translators.

Translation training

In July, the Crick Translation and Academic teams ran a pilot ‘Translating Your Science’ workshop. The afternoon session was attended by 20 PhD Students and Postdocs, all keen to explore the possibilities of commercialising their research.

Howard Marriage, the Crick Translator and Entrepreneur-in-Residence, started the afternoon with an introduction to translation. Drawing from a number of diverse projects during his career, Howard demonstrated the breadth of areas that translational projects can encompass and how long they can take to come to fruition.

Inspired, participants worked in small groups to identify the translational potential of their own research projects and to agree on one idea to develop further. Specialists from Imperial Innovations, CRT, UCL Translation Office and MRC Technology were on hand to advise students on developing a full translational funding proposal/business plan. This exercise concluded with each group of students pitching their idea to other participants.

Feedback from this pilot workshop will be used to develop future activities for Crick PhD Students and Postdocs.

Building up the Translation Team

In September the Crick’s translation team has expanded with the recruitment of Veronique Birault as Head of Translation and Chris Watkins as Head of Knowledge Exchange. Veronique and Chris will join David Roblin, COO and Director of Scientific Translation, and Howard Marriage, Translator and Entrepreneur in Residence, as senior members of the Scientific Translation team.

Veronique’s responsibility will be to establish the organisational culture, capability and processes necessary to deliver the mission of “Accelerate translation for health and wealth”. The translation team lead by Veronique will support early stage research to develop into projects attractive for translational funding or further development with partners and nurture access to complementary capacity, expertise and skills in translational science.

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