In September 2012, Swansea University (in partnership with Cardiff University, MediWales, and NISCHR) was tasked by the Welsh Government to lead a Knowledge Exchange Project (KEP) for the Welsh Life Sciences and Health area. The aim of the KEP programme was to increase interaction, develop more effective knowledge exchange mechanisms, and stimulate the formation and maintenance of long-term collaborative relationships between industry and academia.
We created Life Science Exchange as a process, not an organisation. Our vision was to create a mechanism which could continuously poll all the stakeholders in Wales’ complex life science ecosystem, in a way that allowed all to be involved. The object is to allow participants to interact with other stakeholder communities (clinical, academic, business, governmental), exchanging perspectives, and then to support them thinking about how Wales could improve its performance. To provide focus, we streamed this work into groups representing Wales’ major subsectors.