Open Innovation conference at Shannon ABC

‘Open Innovation’ was the theme of the Shannon ABC conference of April 15th 2014. Java was there discussing our work with Technology Cores to provide clinical trial services; the variety of collaborative models between industry and academia covered in the speakers’ talks was impressive, and encouraging to see.
Martino Picardo from the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst showed how GSK are  embracing open innovation through fostering collaborations with smaller companies, universities, government bodies and the Wellcome Trust.
Alison Campbell of the central Technology Transfer Office (soon to be Knowledge Transfer Ireland) discussed how her office will provide template agreements and guides for managing shared IP, with the government encouraging third level to view Intellectual Property as a tool for job creation and economic growth, not a goal in itself. The example of monoclonal antibody technology was discussed, which, free from IP restrictions, revolutionised biological R&D, and more recently, therapetuics, with enormous and widely spread benefit to public health and economics. Emily Vereker talked more specifically about the role of TCD’s TTO in the development of Sigmoid Pharma.
Aine Hallinan from Carbery and Sinead Proos from Food for Health Ireland illustrated the benefits of innovative product development in an established large industry of critical importance to Ireland – the dairy sector.
Ronan MacLoughlin from Aerogen and Frank Keane of Vitalograph gave presentations on the potential of new technologies to create and dominate markets worldwide in the medical device sector, and the importance of continuous innovation and improvement. These examples from endogenous companies that are world leaders in their sectors were very inspiring.
James Hayes from IT Tallaght and Ben Teeling from Allogen Biotech talked jointly about how the development of novel allergen testing system using very modern technologies and brought this to market as a startup, with nice examples of how factors from marketing, biology and technology collectively shape product development.
James McRedmond from Java Clinical Research discussed some case studies illustrating how we at Java have developed novel, customised services for implementation in clinical trials, using expertise and technology in the Irish University sector.
The SFI-Pfizer Biotherapeutics Innovation Award Programme, whereby Pfizer are supporting applied research focussed on target discovery, in collaboration with third level Investigators, was discussed by Jonny Finlay from Pfizer and Siobhan Roche form SFI.
Finally, Bill Liao convinced us all that Synthetic Biology will be the Next Big Thing, and looked for participants in SynBio axlr8r – Ireland’s first Synthetic biology startup accelerator programme running in Cork this summer.