Creating new opportunities for collaboration – pharma speed dating

On 30th January 2015, the breakout space at the Wolfson Education Centre at Imperial’s Hammersmith campus was buzzing with more than 100 dates between 40 Imperial academics from different faculties, and representatives from 7 major Pharma companies.

The first Pharma speed dating @ ICL event was part of the launch program for the Imperial Confidence in Concept funding scheme, and was organized by the Corporate Partnerships team. Jonathan Weber, Vice-Dean of Research and Imperial College AHSC Director said

“The Pharma speed dating event fits with our strategy to strengthen Imperial relationship with the Pharmaceutical industry and to provide young PIs an opportunity to have their first industrial interactions”.

Academics had only 20 minutes to pitch their ideas to company representatives and discuss common interest for collaborations.

Both academics and company representatives enjoyed a day of interesting and open scientific discussions.

Silvia Santos, a starting group leader at the Imperial MRC-Clinical Science Centre said:

It was very informative to understand what a therapeutic target is to Pharma companies and the path to get into having a potential interesting target. But perhaps even more exciting was realising how complementary our approaches in the lab are with some of the companies and start discussions for potential collaborations.”

Following on from the event, the Corporate Partnerships team is busy following up with several companies who have opened opportunities for collaboration with the College.

The Corporate Partnerships team is expecting to run this event again next year. If your company is interested in participating in the next speed dating @ ICL event, please get in touch with us at

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