10 years of Medical Sciences Business Development

Over the last 10 years, the Business Partnerships Office within the Medical Sciences Division at Oxford has grown to 13 members and secured over £73M in industry investment through strategic partnerships.

A small  crowd of people gathered at the botton of a stairwayMedical sciences academic-industry networking events at Blavatnik School of Government 2019

The team build and manage multi-year alliances with 14 companies; support major co-location initiatives with key strategic partners; foster a live pipeline of ~70 mature project development discussions, involving 35 companies, and provide dedicated management of industry engagement for the NHS through close association with Oxford’s Biomedical Research Centre (BRC).

Some of the key relationships that the team have built, supported and enabled are with Bristol Myers Squibb, Bayer HealthCare, Pfizer, Novo Nordisk and Elysium Health. Recently the introduction of a dedicated team member to develop their SME engagement strategy has been pivotal in utilising and creating new models to engage effectively with this set of unique companies.

The team develop Fellowship schemes as a model for sustaining long-term engagement with international companies including UCB, Bristol Myers Squibb and Elysium, and have shared their experiences at international conferences. Additionally, to drive KE and networking they set up an Oxford Industry Fellows Network (over 70 Industry-sponsored Fellows and postdoctoral researchers) to offer opportunities for industry to train fellows and for fellows to build their networks.

Their Experts in Residence scheme has driven KE in digital health (iWantGreatCare, IBM, Frog Design), surgical technologies (Koli Inc), medical tech regulation (OrganOx), drug discovery and development (Evotech, GSK) and continues to grow.

As a large and dispersed division with 1000s of researchers, size doesn’t always work to their advantage and can be a barrier to industry interaction. The team successfully helps companies navigate the division and they have also found the balance between being visible, but also prioritising relationships where they can add most value.