Professor Dale Sanders introduces Advances #28, Winter 2017
For scientific breakthroughs to have societal impact, often a relationship with a commercial or industry partner is necessary.
Whether a project aims to improve crops, to uncover new valuable plant compounds, or to monitor global crop diseases, the translation of cutting-edge research into end use requires liaison and collaboration with partners who can provide technology scale-up, market knowledge and commercial viability.
In George’s Marvellous Medicines we look at how investment in a translational facility, Leaf Expression Systems, gives a stepping stone to industry by providing proof of concept at a scale which is not possible in the research lab.
In our alumna section, we talk to Dr Belinda Clarke, who studied for her PhD at the John Innes Centre. Her career so far means she can offer insight into how and why industry values academia, and why she is convinced that collaboration is the way forward.
At the heart of our science and innovation is support for individual researchers. Progress often relies on the hard work of teams, but it is important to recognise that teams are made up of individuals, be they PhD students, project leaders or scientific and laboratory support staff. At the John Innes Centre, value is placed on ideas, not who they come from.
For instance, research assistant, Dr Martin Rejzek pursued a solution to a deadly algi problem on the Norfolk Broads – motivated by his love of angling he was supported to investigate further.”