The platform – named IN-PART: Discover – is designed to enhance and accelerate university and industry collaboration.
“Discover was born out of feedback from our industry audience,” said IN-PART co-founder Robin Knight.
“Companies are looking for a proactive and resource-efficient way to seek out university collaboration opportunities fitting their own bespoke requirements, before anyone else,” he added.
The platform benefits drug makers looking for new disease interventions, said Knight, who told us opportunities for pharmaceutical companies are usually in pre-clinical or early-phase development.
“Some companies are interested in reviewing the developmental spectrum of discoveries and opportunities in their R&D [research and development] interest area, whereas others want to focus purely on novel early-stage targets, or have specific essential requirements such as ‘in vivo’ data, or ‘clinical expertise’,” said Knight.
“Currently, there is no system able to engage university teams worldwide in a meaningful and scalable way with a company’s specific external R&D ‘wish list’, or technical challenge,” he added.
According to the UK-based firm, alternative platforms on the market centralise information that is ‘trawled’ from databases and university websites, which can provide outdated data.
“This results in missing the latest innovation yet to be uploaded, or taking place in institutions that do not have the resources to maintain a public portal,” said Knight.
Similarly, platforms that promote industry challenges have little engagement with academic institutions, he said. “Usually they [these systems] are open to the public and only those proactive enough to be members provide content,” he told us.
IN-PART: Discover engages with universities worldwide including UK-based Oxford and Cambridge, and US universities Stanford and MIT, as well as smaller institutions.