Crick News


Tackling translation


The Crick's strategy 'Discovery Without Boundaries' identifies five key priorities for the institute, one of which is 'Accelerating Translation for Health and Wealth.' But what is translation and how will the Crick accelerate translation? 

Translation is the process that aims to convert the scientific discoveries we make at the Crick into insights with potential application for human health. However, effective translation is difficult and takes time. The Crick's translation strategy outlines a number of ways in which the Crick will achieve this. 

At the heart of the strategy is the commitment to 'open science', which is a bold way of working with our university partners and industry to accelerate our chance of discovering and validating new medicines, diagnostics or devices. As well as bringing in external expertise, the Crick will share ideas outside of the institute and allow these to be incorporated into others' scientific processes. Collaborative projects will be initiated from these shared areas of endeavour. We will be open to opportunities that allow us to expand or accelerate our science, rather than allowing red tape to get in the way, as long as this aligns with our ultimate aim of generating benefits for human health. 

We will also implement several internal mechanisms to identify translatable ideas and develop a culture of translatable science. For example, to support our researchers we will:

* Put in place structures to make it as easy as possible for our researchers to translate their research

* Develop internal mechanisms to capture their innovative ideas

* Make translation training available to all researchers who are interested

* Offer early funding to enable researchers to explore the potential of their ideas and provide incentives for engagement in translation activities.


To ensure there is sufficient internal support, we will establish three new full-time roles (in 2015) to create a core Translation Team which will be complemented by internal part-time secondments, and also from our partner organisations (specifically their technology transfer arms). 

Over the next three years, we will establish the operating model for successful translation and demonstrate early signs of efficacy. This will involve establishing the organisation's culture, capability and processes that will deliver a new approach to translation at the Crick and identifying early translation opportunities. To ensure that success can be measured, a number of high level KPIs will be developed.