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Collaborations Between Industry and Academia – Bridging the Gap


Date: Wednesday, May 17, 2017

Time: 11am EDT (NA) / 4pm BST (UK) / 5pm CEST (EU-Central)

Duration: 60 minutes

Featured Speakers:

  • John Cole, Principal, Charles River Associates
  • Ann Baker, Vice President, Charles River Associates

“64% of collaborations between industry and academia fail to deliver against their objectives“

In the face of the myriad challenges facing R&D, the biopharmaceutical industry is adopting open approaches to how it finds, develops and commercialises innovation. Collaboration is the watch word.

In particular, biopharma has turned to partnerships with academia. Companies of all shapes and sizes are collaborating with universities and research institutes in order to gain access to novel science, research and expertise. For academia, collaborations with the industry provides access to many of the translational skills, tools and processes they lack for moving research from the lab, to the clinic and ultimately the patient.

However, the competition amongst pharma companies to work with the premier academic institutions is intensifying. Pharma companies must work hard to become attractive partners – even more so now that academia has more options than ever to progress its research to the market without recourse to industry.

So, collaborations are harder to find and secure. Therefore, it is vital that once set up, these relationships then deliver to their objectives. Unfortunately, based on the outputs of CRA’s recent survey of industry and academia, real world experience indicates that for many industry respondents, approximately 64% of collaborations fail to deliver to their objectives. There is a significant gap between the vision and the reality.

This webinar will examine the motivations for collaboration between biopharma and academia – two different worlds. Crucially, we will also reflect on why the outcomes of such collaborations often disappoint and consider some of the interventions that both parties can make to ensure a successful outcome. We will look at how to bridge the gap between academia and biopharma.

Keywords: Biopharma, Academia


    John Cole, Principal, Charles River Associates

    John Cole is a principal in CRA’s Life Sciences Practice. Mr. Cole has more than 18 years of experience in strategy development, performance improvement, project management, and business change primarily within the life sciences sector. His areas of expertise include R&D performance improvement, strategy, R&D operating model design and the externalization of R&D. In addition to his work across the pharma R&D value chain, Mr. Cole has extensive experience assisting Business Development and Licensing teams. Mr. Cole has consulted with large and mid-tier pharmaceutical companies, biotech clients and academic institutions.

    Prior to joining CRA, Mr. Cole was the global head of the Portfolio and Commercial practice within the life sciences services business of Thomson Reuters. He was a member of the services management team charged with successfully growing the company’s consulting and advisory business.

    Mr. Cole frequently speaks at conferences and writes for industry publications. Most recently, he collaborated with Deloitte on a study measuring return on investment in pharmaceutical research and development. His previous experience includes strategy consulting for life sciences clients at Ernst & Young and Accenture.

    Education MSc, European Studies, London School of Economics and Political Science MA, Modern Languages (French and German), St. Edmund Hall College, University of Oxford

    Ann Baker, Vice President, Charles River Associates

    Ann is a VP in the Life Sciences Practice of CRA. She has more than 25 years of experience working with Life Sciences organisations on strategic issues in R&D and innovation sourcing and management.

    Previously she was founding partner of Atkinson Cowan, a strategy and performance improvement consultancy focusing on R&D and Market Access in Life Sciences. Before that, Ann was a partner in the pharmaceutical consultancy business at Ernst & Young (2006-2007) and a partner in the Health and Life Sciences Group at Accenture where she also led the pharmaceutical R&D service line in the UK. From 1986-1996, Ann worked for PA Consulting Group where she led the Pharmaceutical Strategy group in the Melbourn facility and the Technology Strategy group in the US.

    Ann works across R&D and Business Development and Licensing and their key interface functions in the pharma sector. She has particularly deep expertise in Discovery.


    Senior professionals from pharmaceutical & biotechnology companies involved in:

    • Research & Development
    • Business Development
    • External innovation
    • Strategic planning & Strategic partnerships (including collaborations with academia)

    This presentation will also benefit Tech Transfer Office staff from the academic environment


    Charles River Associates is a leading global consulting firm that offers economic, financial, and strategic expertise to major law firms, corporations, accounting firms, and governments around the world.

    With proven skills in complex cases and exceptional strength in analytics, CRA consultants have provided astute guidance to clients in thousands of successful engagements. We offer litigation and regulatory support, business strategy and planning, market and demand forecasting, policy analysis, and risk management consulting.

    Our success stems from the outstanding capabilities of our consultants, many of whom are recognized as experts in their respective fields; our close relationships with a select group of respected academic and industry experts; and from a corporate philosophy that stresses interdisciplinary collaboration and responsive service.

    Headquartered in Boston, the firm has offices internationally.

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