Increasing industry engagement & open innovation for personalised health

Lead Research Organisation: University of Liverpool
Department Name: UNLISTED


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Technical Summary

The MRC Proximity to Discovery scheme awards universities funds to help develop new collaborations, and ways of exchanging knowledge and skills.  The awards can be used to support activities that promote the value of academic-industry partnership, and enhance academic and industry researchers’ understanding of each other’s needs and capabilities.  This may be through people exchanges, creation of technology demonstrators, showcase events, commercialisation workshops and ‘entrepreneurs in residence’ schemes.  Such exchanges of knowledge and skills will boost the most fruitful collaborations between UK universities and life science companies.


10 25 50
Description Develop marketing plan via industry engagement with Ximbio 
Organisation Ximbio
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Promotion using brochure to large enterprises and SMEs including Cell Guidance Systems, Thermo Fisher Scientifi, Sigma Aldrich, Biomol, Axol Bioscience & Biosan. Development of promotional material for Ximbio's website Development of a plan for scaling-up production of the substrate.
Collaborator Contribution Production of brochure incorporating key data demonstrating no chromosome abnormalities induced to advertise the substrate. Filed a patent to protect IP on this substrate
Impact Awarded a £15k BBSRC IAA award with Ximbio to enhance the commercial potential of a novel molecularly engineered substrate they have developed for pluripotent stem cell (PSC) culture.
Start Year 2018
Description Extending industrial collaboration for developing a lung cancer plasma miRNA diagnostic assay 
Organisation HTG Molecular Diagnostics
Country United States 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution The first visit allowed Dr Davies to provide some background on the Liverpool Lung Project and present our vision for early diagnostic biomarker discovery and utility. It also gave an opportunity to discuss other projects that might benefit from HTG molecular pathology technology (including a teleconference with our MRC-funded Clinical PhD student). Dr Kennett Mattson from HTG visited also UoL on 5 Feb 2018 to discuss steps forward.
Collaborator Contribution Training of sample analysis in plasma miRNA for disease management
Impact A joint grant application was submitted in Jan 2018 to CRUK but not funded
Start Year 2018
Description Lucid: Ocular infection sampling for diagnosis 
Organisation Lucid Group Limited
Country United Kingdom 
Sector Private 
PI Contribution Company staff worked with academics in Liverpool during the co-development of the prototype device. Lucid staff worked at the University or Royal Liverpool Hospital, observing clinical application of the device and processing of the sample in the microbiology laboratory, supervised by Dr. Tim Neal and Prof Stephen Kaye.
Collaborator Contribution Time was provided in kind and prototyping, tooling and test requirements for supply sterile, in procedure packs with accompanying labelling and traceability to specific batches of production including regulatory documentation were carried out at cost.
Impact A device that works like a retractable pen has been designed to simplify the sampling technique further, avoid contamination and accelerate widespread use. The pen carries out the corneal sample and retracts it into a barrel filled with an appropriate culture solution, allowing the device to be transported to a lab for culturing and analysis.
Start Year 2018