REDDSTAR’s Exploitation Workshop was held on 21 October in Porto. This workshop was planned as part of our ‘Description of Work’ to gain some external steering and advice at the two year mark in the project. ‘REDD6’ refers to the groups working on the six complications of diabetes explored through REDDSTAR- cardiomyopathy, foot ulceration, nephropathy, neuropathy, retinopathy and impaired fracture repair. The workshop invited all delegates to consider the future of the REDD6 network- both academic and commercial. Our external invited guests included Principal Investigator Dr Rafael Simo of CIBERDEM and Coordinator of EUROCONDOR; and Dr Rob Jones Executive Director and Company Secretary at Renasci in Nottingham.
After a welcome and introductions, a work package round up ensued where our advisory panel asked plenty of questions, suggested additional studies and offered their expertise. There was much lively discussion during this portion of the meeting. After a break, Dr Victoria Macarthur of Pintail Ltd presented Horizon 2020 opportunities of relevance to the consortium. Discussion followed on from here as to which would be more advantageous in light of this- to keep the consortium together as is and test another diabetes intervention, add to it, or chop and change the partners to pursue the most promising pre-clinical findings from the six work packages presented.
Following on from this, REDDSTAR’s Dissemination Officer Danielle Nicholson asked delegates to put themselves in the shoes of a business strategist and explore the commercial potential of the REDD-6 group. A short film primed the exercise where in groups of two, delegates were asked to map out value propositions, customer relationships and segments, resources, a cost structure and the revenue streams of a potential REDD-6 business. As was expected, many questions were generated from the exercise including how to ensure access to the continuity of a tenable resource, like a research group’s time. It was noted that a business plan to determine whether or not REDD-6 was a viable business opportunity could be contracted if funds for it could be isolated.
Finally it was posed that a no-cost way to keep the REDD-6 group working as a unit would be to agree to advise on one another’s projects going forward. This point will need more discussion since at this point in the meeting several delegates had departed.
Special thanks to our participants both internal and external to the project. A report will be circulated in the coming months for comment.