MRC support for industrial partnerships
The MRC has collaborated with six global drug companies to form a new scheme that allows academic researchers access to a collection of nearly 50 de-prioritised pharmaceutical compounds and up to £5m in funding. In addition, Industrial Collaborative Awards in Science and Engineering (CASE) studentships provide students with experience of collaborative research in a non-academic, industrial environment. It is also possible to apply for research funding for a collaborative project with an industry partner through the MRC Industry Collaboration Agreement (MICA). It provides a legal format for the agreement between the commercial and academic partners to undertake collaborative research. The key feature of the MICA is its flexibility, allowing the level and nature of the industry contribution to vary according to scientific needs, from cash and time input to sharing compounds and staff. Companies of any size may participate, from spin-outs and SMEs to major pharmaceutical companies.
The MRC also helps establish new collaborations between academic and private sector research. These activities range from holding workshops or symposia which act as networking opportunities, or facilitating specific partnership opportunities, such as the Stratified Medicine projects (initiative details can be found at (SMI). MRC-funded research also generates intellectual property has led to significant medical advances and benefit to the UK economy.