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Supporting business growth and productivity in life sciences

Posted on 24/01/2019

The STFC B4I Life Sciences event on 26th March aims to help companies access a range of world-class science facilities using B4I funding.

The UK’s life sciences sector has been showing record levels of growth and is estimated to be worth over £70 billion to the UK economy. This is a fast moving field, supporting rapid advances in the understanding of biological systems, breakthroughs in genomics and the development of innovative pharmaceuticals and medical technologies.

Access to world-class science facilities and expert support can be crucial to making advances in the pharmaceutical and biotechnology industries. Bridging for Innovators (B4I) is a programme run by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) to support UK industry to overcome challenging product, manufacturing or process performance. Accessing their unique laboratories and engaging with world class researchers, you will develop projects that address your specific challenge and help you make a step-change to your business.

STFC B4I Life Sciences Event, 26 March 2019, Didcot

STFC and Diamond Light Source are hosting a free event on 26th March at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratories (RAL) to highlight how B4I support can specifically meet the needs of the pharmaceutical and biotech industries.

Taking part in this event will give you the chance to:

  • find out more about B4I funding opportunities for life sciences companies
  • explore the capabilities of world-class scientific research facilities to address complex challenges in life sciences
  • discover how other companies have benefited from using the B4I partner facilities to advance their own R&D challenges
  • network with fellow peers
  • participate in a guided tour of the facilities, to see first-hand the capabilities available and identify R&D opportunities for your company

You can view the programme and book your place here.

This event is being hosted at the Visitor’s Centre, Rutherford Appleton Laboratories (RAL), Harwell Campus, Didcot, OX11 0QX.

Note: Registration will close at midnight on 17th March 2019.

World-class science facilities

STFC science facilities of particular interest to the life sciences sector include:

Hartree Centre  – Home to some of the most technically advanced high performance computing, data analytics, machine learning technologies and experts in the UK.

ISIS Neutron and Muon Source – Producing beams of neutrons and muons that allow scientists to study materials at the atomic level using a suite of instruments, often described as ‘super-microscopes’.

Diamond Light Source – The UK’s national synchrotron. It works like a giant microscope, harnessing the power of electrons to produce bright light that scientists can use to study anything from fossils to jet engines to viruses and vaccines.

Central Laser Facility – CLF’s wide ranging applications include experiments in physics, chemistry and biology, accelerating subatomic particles to high energies, probing chemical reactions on the shortest timescales and studying biochemical and biophysical process critical to life itself.

Accelerator Science and Technology Centre (ASTeC) – Charged particle accelerators are at the heart of numerous frontier projects in science and technology, including large scale international research facilities for particle and nuclear physics and major UK centres such as synchrotron sources for neutrons and photons. Alternative but much smaller solutions apply to medical and industrial applications.

Finding solutions to life sciences challenges

Over the last few years STFC’s world-leading science facilities have helped various life sciences companies to gain a better understanding of their challenges and find innovative solutions:

  • Healthcare company GSK is using the Hartree Centre’s intense computing expertise to identify connections between different genes and diseases, with a view to developing more effective treatments. Find out more here.
  • With help from the Hartree Centre, start-up Ufonia is exploring the use of cognitive technologies to monitor people with long term health needs. Find out more here.
  • Scientists from the University of Manchester, the University of Sheffield, and Keele University, in collaboration with leading home pregnancy test supplier Swiss Precision Diagnostics, have used STFC science facilities to improve their understanding of false positives in pregnancy tests. Find out more here.
  • A collaboration of scientists from the University of Manchester and MedImmune LLC have used neutron reflection at ISIS to investigate the interfacial adsorption of a monoclonal antibody at the solid/water interface. Find out more here.
  • Knowledge from STFC’s Central Laser Facility (CLF) was used to develop laser techniques for eye surgery; an industry which generates £104 million per year for the UK. Find out more here.

Please also see below for case studies focussed on life sciences companies who have worked with Diamond Light Source:

*  GSK

*  Pfizer (case study 1)

*  Pfizer (case study 2)

*  Porton Biopharma

*  Pharmorphix (now Johnson Matthey)

*  Heptares (now Sosei Heptares)

The STFC B4I LifeSciences event istaking place on 26th March at the Visitor’s Centre, Rutherford Appleton Laboratories (RAL), Harwell Campus, Didcot, OX11 0QX.

Book your place before midnight on 17th March 2019 here.