Pharma and Biotech companies investing in R&D (Part 3 of 3)

April 7, 2011 § Leave a comment

Emphasis on new platforms and inter-disciplinary research and development

New platforms and approaches in research and development are leading towards bigger, better, and more groundbreaking advances in science and technology. After previously discussing the present status of research and development in regards to Big Pharma and Biotech companies, it’s time to take a look at the future and highlight two examples to promote inter-disciplinary R&D.

Combining government entities for R&D

And a good example of an inter-disciplinary union is LifeScienceUK, a new initiative to build on the government’s commitment to transform the life sciences environment in the United Kingdom. Facilitating inter-disciplinary research among the country’s major human healthcare industries: biotechnology; pharmaceuticals; medical devices and diagnostics; the founding members are the Association of British Healthcare Industries, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, the BioIndustry Association, and the British In Vitro Diagnostics Association.

Areas of interest for LifeScienceUK include the continuous improvement of the investment environment for UK companies; improved access to new medicines, devices, diagnostics and technologies; and the importance of the life science sector to the British economy. The numbers for R&D in the UK are also as strong for pharmaceutical companies as in the United States. A recent government report, “Strength and Opportunity”, showed a three percent increase in employment and an 18 percent increase in turnover to £5.5 billion in medical biotechnology. The government’s R&D Scoreboard also revealed that the pharmaceutical and biotechnology sectors continued to be the largest contributor to R&D in 2009, accounting for more than 35 percent of all R&D investment in the 1,000 top performing companies in the UK. U.S spending on R&D totalled $395 billion last year.

This union, as well as the numbers, demonstrate that the growth and interest in research and development from Big Pharma and Biotech companies is a worldwide trend. Folks all over the world, performing all sorts of research, ought to be looking into this matter a little more closely.

Creating societies with an emphasis in inter-disciplinary R&D

Another one of these new platforms for research and development is an honors society dedicated to the emerging field of inter-disciplinary research. A group of graduate students is currently founding the National Interdisciplinary Honor Society at Virginia Tech, the first of its kind in North America.

The goal of the IDR Honor Society is to promote communication between students of different disciplines and promote new interdisciplinary research.

“It’s as much about the social community as it is about research,” said Ivan Sergejev, an architecture masters student. “So one of the objectives that we have is that the funding for interdisciplinary research rises and there are more projects.”

The honor society will be hosting an Interdisciplinary Research Day on April 19 to talk about research and to raise interest in the organization.

Alireza Salmanzadeh, a mechanical systems engineering graduate student at Virginia Tech, said that the event would include roundtable sessions for students and faculty to come up with proposals for inter-disciplinary research, and the best ideas would receive awards.

“They could include all the disciplines that are sitting at that table,” Salmanzadeh said.

The event will take place at the Inn at Virginia Tech on April 19. Everyone is invited to the event, but registration is required.

If unable to attend the event at Virginia Tech for whatever reason, tap into the same benefits of an inter-disciplinary society by networking with folks on other websites. A great place to find other companies and associations to collaborate with in the bulging realm of research and development is iAMscientist, where publications, RFAs, and research trends can be posted and found for scientists all over the world. Turn discoveries into opportunities with the global community of top-notch scientists at iAMscientist.

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