New Platform Bridges Valley of Death for Life Science
A new online sharing platform for life science research just launched has attracted hundreds of life science entrepreneurs and has bridged the gap toward making the UK more competitive in terms of commercialisation of scientific research.
Clustermarket CEO Johannes Solzbach says while the UK makes claims to being a global leader in science and research, the country has failed to compete when it comes to commercialisation and his platform, www.clustermarket.com, has set out to bridge this.
Solzbach says, "In effect, overseas countries are pumping research funding into the UK to take advantage of our leading academics and institutions, but the commercialisation is not something that the UK itself is able to boast as a leader.
At Clustermarket we aim to reverse this trend and help the UK become a commercialisation centre as much as a research one. This identified gap is the reason we have chosen the UK as a launch centre for Clustermarket.
We envisage that with our platform, www.clustermarket.com, there is a greener light for life science entrepreneurs to be able to take their ideas to market and we are delighted to have had such an overwhelming response to the platform in the first weeks since launch.
The high cost of research equipment and expertise has traditionally been a large barrier to entry for commercialisation of research in the UK. The new platform provided by www.clustermarket.com makes the journey to market more accessible by facilitating shared access to expertise and equipment.
Solzbach points out that peer countries in life sciences, such as China, Denmark and Germany are pushing ahead in terms of commercialisation by funding satellite research centres around the UK's prestigious academic institutions but the tendency is to take the piggy-backed results back in-house, for commercialisation in their own territories.
Coupled with the expected EU funding that is expected to be pulled from life sciences post-Brexit, the UK faces an ever widening valley of death scenario when it comes to commercialisation of academic research and realising innovation, which is causing real concern within the life science community.
This commercialisation concern is backed by a UK Government report which says that 93% of research ideas do not get to market because of the high costs in terms of instruments and infrastructure. The report, released in 2013 by the House of Commons Science and Technology Committee called Bridging the valley of death: improving the commercialisation of research says that a troubling feature of technology companies in the UK is how many are acquired by foreign owners where the subsequent jobs and wealth are generated outside the UK.
"We believe this is because life science entrepreneurs in the UK have been having to look abroad for funding so as to enable them to undertake expensive research and development," says Solzbach. Clustermarket is setting out to solve this problem.
Clustermarket is helping scientists, engineers and other technology pioneers to rent lab equipment from nearby institutions and to find the best service providers. The equipment and services listed on Clustermarket are offered by universities, other research institutions and businesses, making research more sustainable.