Kidney Research UK confirmed as new strategic partner to the Babraham Research Campus Accelerate@Babraham initiative, providing support to early-stage science and new life science ventures

Cambridge, 15th February 2021: The Babraham Research Campus is delighted to welcome the charity Kidney Research UK as the latest organisation to pledge strategic and financial support to its Accelerate@Babraham initiative. The additional funding boosts the ability of the Campus to continue to support and sustain innovation in early science concepts and nurture new life science companies across the Cambridge cluster.

Now in its fourth year, Accelerate@Babraham supports ambitious early stage life science ventures within the Babraham Research Campus’ active community. By combining access to short-term communal laboratory and office space, enabling interaction with the academic community at the Babraham Institute and facilitating introductions to the Campus’ exceptional global network, the Campus ecosystem comes together to support and nurture new and emerging life science ventures as they develop and expand their ideas. Individual mentoring and more general business support completes the package. To date, Accelerate@Babraham portfolio companies have raised almost £10m in equity investment and grants. Collectively they employ nearly 30 people.  

Innovation is crucial in accelerating kidney research and pushing exciting scientific ideas towards the clinic to improve quality of life for kidney patients. Kidney Research UK is committed to working differently;  capitalising on opportunities like Accelerate@Babraham to enable more research and raise awareness of kidney disease and the charity itself among new partners, researchers and scientists from outside its traditional activity.  

Kidney Research UK joins existing strategic partners AstraZeneca, Eisai, LifeArc and Mundipharma.

Kidney Research UK is the largest charity in the UK which funds research focused on the prevention, treatment and management of kidney disease. The vision of the charity is to free lives from the restrictions, fear, anxiety and life limiting nature of kidney disease.

Marc Stowell, Director of Communications and Income Generation at Kidney Research UK commented: “We are delighted to confirm our wholehearted support of the Accelerate@Babraham initiative and look forward to working with the Campus team, our fellow strategic partners and other supporters of the initiative.  The partnership will enable us to forge strong connections and accelerate research into kidney disease, so it makes a difference to kidney patients’ lives faster.  At this uncertain time, being ambitious and collaborating with others is crucial to ensure kidney research continues to grow.”

Derek Jones, CEO, Babraham Bioscience Technologies, which manages and develops the Babraham Research Campus added:“We are delighted to welcome Kidney Research UK to our incredibly experienced group of strategic partners; all of whom not only assist in funding the Accelerate@Babraham initiative and give generously of their time and expertise to enable us to constantly evolve and improve what we do, but importantly also continue to help us remain focused on our key targets for the programme, one of which is therapeutic treatments.

“Their support and encouragement and that of our additional supporters, many of whom are based on Campus, allows us to create a truly distinctive programme that ensures young ventures can stress test their innovations and capabilities in a supportive environment, whilst also growing their networks and expertise across a number of additional areas during their time with us.”

A key activity within the Accelerate@Babraham initiative is the annual StartUP@Babraham competition, which - via a competitive application and selection process - gives up to five early stage life science enterprises the opportunity to take part in a five month bio-entrepreneurial mentoring programme.  The competition supports ideas and/or companies that are pre-seed to seed stage (below £500k investment), the core objective being to help create new jobs, technology and therapies and maximise the impact of the Cambridge life science cluster, both nationally and internationally.

The positive impact of being located on Campus and the contribution the Babraham Research Campus makes to the local and national research and innovation landscape was evidenced in report findings published last year. ‘The Economic Impact of the Babraham Research Campus’ found that being part of the supportive Campus ecosystem enabled Campus companies to accelerate their scientific discoveries by an average of 4.6 months and their fundraising by an average of 5.1 months.  Investors also benefit, realising a 7.2x return on investments in Campus companies; further demonstrating the value of the highly connected and collaborative community. These findings, coupled with the extraordinary efforts made by the Campus team to create, facilitate and manage initiatives such as Accelerate@Babraham continue to draw an increasing number of high quality ventures to apply to become part of the Campus community year on year.

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Sarah Brereton
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