Future Worlds medicine launch injects ‘energy and drive’ into university innovations

London, October 10th 2017, Future Worlds medicine launched to support translational biomedical research at the University of Southampton

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A growing entrepreneurial culture among medical innovators at the University of Southampton was praised by senior industry leaders at the official launch of the Future Worlds medicine initiative in London.

Renovos, SouthWestSensor, Highfield Diagnostics, Smart Fabric Inks and Trimunocor pitched Southampton research and technologies to a packed audience of industry experts, entrepreneurs and investors at The Future Cities Catapult’s Urban Innovation Centre (London, UK) on October 10th.  Speaking at the event, Lars Erwig, a Senior Director at GSK, commended the “sense of energy, innovation and drive,” commenting that “it feels more like Boston”. 

Future Worlds medicine is part of the Future Worlds initiative, which supports aspiring entrepreneurs at the University of Southampton to launch startups and spinouts that change the world with their ideas. Future Worlds medicine, supported by funding from the Medical Research Council (MRC), helps the progression of translational medical research and entrepreneurial talent at the University towards the healthcare markets through inspiring events, support and a global network of over 45 mentors.

John Holloway, Faculty of Medicine Associate Dean of Research at University of Southampton, gave the evenings opening address.  He explained how the Faculty had been witness to the “passion and energy of Future Worlds”.  He said, “With the award from the MRC Proximity to Discovery industry grant we were able to expand the Future Worlds offering to bring new networks of mentors that have expertise and knowledge in the health science sectors.”

Louise Jones, Head of Translational research at the MRC and Elaine Evans, Senior Innovation lead at Innovate UK delivered a double-act key note address which focused on Innovate UK and the MRC’s joint-funded Biomedical Catalyst programme which, “Supports academic-led, SME-led and collaborative projects,” Louise explained.

Elaine highlighted the value of startups receiving mentor support in her keynote address. “Having a mentor makes a substantial difference to the outcome of a project,” she explained. “It sharpens commercial thinking and helps drive a cultural change to get projects out of the academic environment and into the hard reality of the commercial world.” 

Future Worlds mentor and life sciences expert Simon Kerry spoke at the event about his passion for supporting University innovators, “Future Worlds medicine gives entrepreneurs the opportunity to work with people who have direct experience of building companies in this sector, giving help and support that would otherwise be difficult and expensive to obtain,” he said. 

In his closing address, Future Worlds’ mentor and interim director Ben Clark emphasised that Future Worlds “isn't powered by me or our brilliant team, it is powered by you and the network of mentors who provide their expertise, connections, money or wisdom.”  He explained, “this is what powers the whole venture and what really makes a difference”. 

To engage with Future Worlds Medicine and help aspiring entrepreneurs change the world with their ideas email ‘Count me in’ to join@futureworlds.com

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University of Southampton

Decades ago, University of Southampton researchers pioneered the use of antibodies in cancer treatment, and the world’s first fiber-optic cables were drawn by its engineers. Combining these strengths, the university continues to be a leader in commercializing research emerging from its laboratories. Located right in the middle of the biggest and greenest city on the British south coast, and only an hour away from Heathrow Airport, the University of Southampton has long been one of the prime academic centers in the United Kingdom.

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