Here you should find everything you need to decide whether Advise & Connect will meet your needs and whether your project fits the criteria. If you’d like to go ahead, please fill out the brief application form.
Who can apply?
Anyone can apply to Advise & Connect for advice, irrespective of the organisation they work for or where they are based. You could be an academic researcher, a clinician, from a biotech SME or a spin out company, a student, a solo entrepreneur, from public health, a governmental body or from a research charity. We do however ask that researchers from a university or research institute involve their technology transfer office (TTO) in their application. We are also happy to accept applications from TTOs directly. Applications from larger pharmaceutical, medical technology or diagnostics companies are also welcome.
What areas must the project address?
We are looking for projects that are either developing drugs, diagnostics, devices and AI/digital health, as these are the areas which fit best with our expertise. Our aim is to support potential solutions that will help to deal with the longer-term effects of the current pandemic as well as prepare us for future viral outbreaks. As such, projects should address the following challenges:
- Long term health effects of COVID-19
Recovering COVID-19 patients exhibit a wide variety of health effects. We want to support innovations that could prevent, diagnose or treat these long-term health effects of COVID-19.
- Supporting clinical decision making in COVID-19 treatment and management
COVID-19 treatment and management is rapidly evolving thanks to research efforts to repurpose existing treatments, optimise non-pharmacological interventions and develop diagnostics tests. We want to support new ways to facilitate clinical decision making in the COVID-19 care pathway.
- Disruptive approaches to fast-tracking anti-viral therapeutics and diagnostics development
Traditional approaches for therapeutics and diagnostics development can take months or years to execute. The COVID-19 pandemic has shown us that this model needs to be revisited to be able to respond to any future viral outbreaks. We want to support disruptive innovations and platforms including broad approaches to antiviral therapy and diagnostics.
- Viral disease control and monitoring
Over the past three decades, several viruses – SARS-CoV-1, MERS-CoV, Ebola, Zika and Influenza A (H1N1) – have emerged as threats to global health before SARS-CoV-2 caused the COVID-19 pandemic and worldwide disruption. We want to support new innovations for monitoring and controlling emergent viral outbreaks including data, algorithms, diagnostics and preventive treatments (e.g. boosting immunity).
What stage must projects be at?
Our expertise is in scientific translation: taking early-stage innovations through to the point where they can be clinically validated or enter clinical trials. As such, we can help support projects that have developed sufficiently to have an articulated concept, or even proof of concept data, but which need additional development to make them ready for testing with people or in clinical trials. Our translational expertise covers evaluation of the commercial or scientific potential of your idea; development of the concept, either through further scientific work or building partnerships with industry; and commercialisation strategy including intellectual property, marketing or contracts.
Please note we can only provide general IP advice, not specific recommendations for IP protection. We are unable to answer queries related to regulatory approvals or clinical studies. In addition, while we cannot advise you on the specific technicalities of regulatory approval and clinical development, we can provide broad insights as well as guide you in obtaining such advice.
How will the process work?
- We will ask you to send us a non-confidential summary of your project in a brief application form. This information will help us understand your project so we can answer your questions more effectively.
- We will review applications on an ongoing basis and hope to get back to you within four weeks, though this will depend on demand.
- If we feel we can help you, we will invite you to meet two LifeArc advisors from different areas within our organisation who can talk to you about the project and provide advice on your specific questions. The meeting will last about an hour. In some instances, we might invite external partners to join the meeting to provide input on specific questions.
- After the meeting, if we think your project might benefit from accessing additional LifeArc resources, we will get in touch and guide you through next steps. We may be able to provide further help through our Innovation Award scheme, other internal programmes or connect you to our network of partners and collaborators. We do not accept direct applications to the Innovation Award – the scheme is only open to projects which have received advice from LifeArc.
If you think that we could be able to help your project, please fill out the application form.
There is no closing date for submissions as applications will be assessed on an ongoing basis. We encourage interested parties to apply as soon as possible. If you have further questions about Advise & Connect, please get in touch.