Ximbio recently attended the Praxis Auril Annual Conference 2019. Aimed at Knowledge Exchange (KE) and technology transfer professionals from across the UK, the conference helps develop these professionals by promoting best practice, providing skills development through training and establishing connections between individuals.
Praxis Auril is a great believer that “successful KE and commercialisation is essential to the economic growth of the UK”.
To this end many of the conference sessions focused on providing case studies highlighting best practice and providing insight and training into the key skills a tech transfer professional needs to know. Our session highlights included:
Intellectual property: Capturing the value of tangible assets
This session focused on dispelling some of the myths about what can and can’t be patented. For example, a feeling can’t be patented, but something that makes you feel a particular way can be. Insights into common pitfalls and best practice on managing inventorship and ownership of IP and the conflicts of interest that arise from the commercialisation process were also discussed. Failing to clearly define the intricacies of ownership and inventorship at the start of collaborations can derail projects later when disputes arise. Simply contributing to a project does not automatically mean a party is an inventor, their contribution must be an ‘inventive’ idea to count.
Developing the next generation of global Knowledge Exchange (KE) professionals
We were particularly interested in this session as it ties in closely with our Ximbassador Internship Programme. It focused on the changing role of future KE professionals and the evolving international KE structures and interactions. Building networks is key and Sean Fielding, the Chair of Praxis Auril, proposed the term ‘exchange’ in the acronym KE could be replaced with ‘economy’ to convey the value KE professionals add. Technology needs of future KE professionals were discussed; entrepreneur Rob Watkins showed impressive results achieved by users of his CrowdiCity ideas sharing platform. For example, Montreal uses the platform for inhabitants to share and vote on ideas to re-generate the city. The World Wide Fund for Nature (WWF) stimulated ground roots submissions of clean tech, green tech and start-up ideas.
Global KE & Investment – Global Knowledge Exchange Skills
The speakers in this session included our very own Lucy Barber. Lucy is a member of the LifeArc fellowship programme. She spoke about her experiences and the impact it has had on her successfully landing a role at Ximbio. Experiences like the LifeArc Fellowship programme and the Ximbassador Programme are vital in ensuring the tech transfer industry maintains a global pipeline of new talent.
Alongside the stimulating industry sessions, we relished the opportunity to catch up with our current UK partners and to make connections with many new institutes. We look forward to continuing to work with our partners to support the identification and commercialisation of life science reagents of all kinds globally to further scientific research.