project . 2013 - 2015 . Closed

Acquisition of experience in industrial project management and commercial product development supporting non-invasive stem cell separation technology

UK Research and Innovation
Funder: UK Research and InnovationProject code: BB/L004925/1
Funded under: BBSRC Funder Contribution: 126,682 GBP
Status: Closed
17 Sep 2013 (Started) 30 Nov 2015 (Ended)

A BBSRC funded collaborative research at Heriot-Watt and Edinburgh Universities has resulted in the development of novel engineering technology to separate human stem cells from specialised cells that originate from them. Unlike currently practiced approaches, the new technique does not rely on surface attachment of probes that may alter cell behaviour. The probe-free separation technology has applications in the isolation and processing of stem cells for industrial drug discovery and cell manufacturing for clinical application. To develop these applications further it is necessary to (1) secure funding from sources supporting non-academic development of a commercial product, and (2) identify and engage industrial and clinical end users. Academic institutions are not generally effectively positioned or best experienced in acquisition of this type of funding or to commercially engage with others. The purpose of this award therefore is to interchange Dr Marieke Hoeve, a senior academic researcher with a background in immunology, cell biology & stem cell research, and experience in academic project management, from the laboratory of Dr. Paul De Sousa at Edinburgh University, first to Heriot-Watt University to learn the underpinning engineering technology of the engineering scientists and acquire experience in academic technology transfer office practice. This is followed by a placement at a stem cell contract manufacturing organisation, Roslin Cells Ltd, whose remit is to facilitate industrial and clinical translation of stem cell research. Lastly Dr Hoeve will return to the applicant's lab to apply the multi-disciplinary experience gained. In this placement Dr Hoeve will aim to: 1. Gain experience in the acquisition of funding for non-academic commercial product development for Roslin Cells. 2. Acquire industrial project management experience by contributing to management of existing Roslin Cells projects. 3. Prepare a market analysis of the demand and competition for the cell separation technology. 4. Secure funding for the application of the probe-free cell separation technology for inducing pluripotent stem cells from adult cells that resemble embryonic stem cells, for purposes of modelling diseases in a 3-way collaboration between Roslin Cells, the University of Edinburgh and Heriot-Watt. 5. Secure funding for application of the probe-free cell separation technology in other industrial and clinical applications in a collaboration between the aforementioned and other academic and commercial end users.

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