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From left to right: Dr Jonathan Thompson (DePuy Orthopeadics Worldwide), Mark Richardson (Smith & Nephew), Professor Dinah Birch, Jo O’Keeffe (Unilever R&D), Dave Ogden (Lonza Microbial Control) and Dr Milla Shah from Business Gateway at the University and part of the workshop organising group
Representatives of industry and members of N8, the partnership between eight Northern research-intensive Universities, joined Liverpool academics in a scoping workshop held at the University’s Foresight Centre.
Entitled, Surface Modification to Prevent Microorganism Colonisation, guest speakers from Unilever, Lonza Microbial Control, DePuy Orthopaedics and Smith & Nephew discussed the challenges faced by industry in this key area. Further discussion later in the day focused on how academics and industry could come together to tackle these challenges and how the ideas generated could present opportunities for future collaborative research partnerships.
The workshop was part of the N8’s Industry Innovation Forum initiative (N8IIF) Forum (N8IIF) designed to connect leading businesses with research intensive universities, key organisations and other networks involved in innovation, initially across the North of England.
Current partners of the N8IIF are the Northern research intensive universities and global firms involved with research and development, including; AstraZeneca, Croda, National Nuclear Laboratory, Procter & Gamble, Reckitt Benckiser, Siemens, Smith & Nephew and Unilever.
The main objective of the N8IIF is to create new collaborations between industry and the research base to drive innovation, competitive advantage and growth by maximising linkages and market pull between private sector R&D, industrial and consumer needs and the world class research base in the UK.
As well as increasing collaborative R&D and commercialisation, the Forum will act as a catalyst for open innovation by matching industry requirements with science solutions and possibilities; creating ideas, insights and innovations through an agglomeration of talent and expertise; and, enabling cross sector innovation and knowledge exchange from a broad range of R&D firms.
Professor Dinah Birch, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Knowledge Exchange, said: “It was a pleasure to contribute to this very successful example of collaborative work within the N8 partnership. I hope to hear that the ideas discussed have led to further research projects between academia and industry.”
Mark Richardson, from Smith & Nephew, VP Research & Technology, a speaker at the event, described the forum as “a fantastic opportunity to bring together researchers and companies from across the N8 region with a curiosity and interest in preventing microbial colonisation in a number of different settings.”
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