Nanomedicine, cell biology, wearable sensor systems, smart implants: these are some of the areas of research in life sciences which will be boosted by a new network of experts who are based in Wales and Ireland, which was recently launched with events in both countries.
The Celtic Advanced Life Science Innovation Network (CALIN) is a €12 million, 4-year, Ireland-Wales funded programme that is aimed at creating innovation, jobs and growth in both countries.
CALIN brings together Bangor, Cardiff and Swansea Universities in Wales, and University College Dublin, The National University of Ireland, Galway and Tyndall National Institute, University College Cork in Ireland. The aim is to combine expertise with access to emerging technologies and routes to market that will support businesses in the regions as they develop new life science products.
The Irish launch event at Tyndall National Institute gave small and medium enterprises (SMEs) a chance to find out more about what CALIN can offer, and to present their technology challenges and give their view of the CALIN project. Businesses were also able to engage directly with CALIN with one-to-one project development meetings to explore collaborations.
Dr Paul Galvin, Head of ICT for Health at Tyndall National Institute and member of the CALIN board, said:
“It was clearly evident from the many company presentations during the two days, that CALIN will provide a unique opportunity to leverage synergies, and support new value chains across both regions. We in Tyndall are delighted to be part of this project, and look forward to working with the academic and industry partners in Ireland and Wales.”
Taking part in the CALIN event at Tyndall was Jellagen, a Pembrokeshire-based SME which produces collagen products sourced from jellyfish. Jellagen are currently working on a collaborative project with Swansea University’s Centre for Nanohealth and NUI Galway.
Andrew Mearns Spragg, Chief Executive Officer of Jellagen, said:
“The CALIN event provided a fantastic platform to network with a range of academic and industrial colleagues. Jellagen is excited to be part of the CALIN project and we look forward to working with our partners to develop robust research into products with real commercial potential”
As well as talks from the SMEs, keynote presentations on the CALIN project were delivered by Eoin O’Driscoll, Chairman and Acting CEO of Tyndall; CALIN co-ordinator, Professor Shareen Doak of Swansea University; and Dr Ciarán Duffy of Enterprise Ireland.
Dr Ciarán Duffy underlined the importance of CALIN’s role:
“We have got to increase the value of what we bring to the market and CALIN provides an opportunity for small companies to become more competitive in a global market.”
Prior to the Irish event, CALIN’s Welsh launch took place at the BioWales 2017 conference hosted at the Millennium Centre in Cardiff. The CALIN team hosted a stand over the two-day event and the CALIN project was presented in a keynote talk by CALIN academics Dr Paul Galvin and Prof Shareen Doak.
Professor Shareen Doak (pictured), from Swansea University’s Institute of Life Science, said:
“CALIN will support innovation and growth of SMEs to create new life science technologies to improve healthcare, addressing patient and societal needs”
The Welsh launch was a big success for CALIN with the initiation of several long-term collaborations. The BioWales conference also marked the launch of the CALIN website, which provides events information, case studies, latest news and the opportunity to register with CALIN.
The success of CALIN so far can be seen in the fact that more than 20 collaborative research and development projects are already in progress, with many more under discussion.
Moreover, CALIN has the funding and framework in place to help 240 Irish and Welsh SMEs. This puts CALIN in a position to initiate many more collaborative R&D projects.
Collaborating with CALIN
At present, the CALIN team is actively looking to collaborate with small businesses across Ireland and Wales in the life science sector.
To find out more:
- Tuesday 9 May 2017 15.54 BST
- Tuesday 9 May 2017 16.13 BST
- Public Relations Office