The University of Manchester is on a mission to become one of the top 25 universities in the world by 2015. B2B International has played an instrumental role in assisting the University through market research to develop its biomedical research strategy and improve its current standing.
Just one year following the merger of UMIST and the Victoria University of Manchester in 2004, the University of Manchester was named ‘Higher Education Institute of the Year’ at the Times Higher Awards – an early indicator of the University’s growth prospects in its ten year programme towards world-class status.
In order to reach the highest international level of research excellence, the University recognized the future benefits of focusing on its biomedical research offerings as an area for investment. In spite of a high level of existing research contracts, a target was established to increase to one fifth the proportion of grant research funding obtained from industrial sources, within the agreed time limit of the University’s mission.
The Faculties of Life Sciences and Medical and Human Sciences sought the expertise of B2B International to carry out an international study on the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry’s requirements for biomedical research, to determine how the University can best meet the needs of the market in its biomedical research offerings, and thereby consolidate its position as an internationally distinguished centre of research. Depth interviews were conducted with pharmaceutical and biomedical companies in the US and Europe. These companies ranged from start-up biotechs to global pharmaceutical companies and contract research organisations. The respondents were keen to share their views due to the high level of interest in the University of Manchester’s biomedical research offerings.
The study shed a positive light on universities as providers of biomedical research. 90% of the companies interviewed used external providers at some stage for research and virtually all had used universities for this purpose within the last five years. 86% of respondents believe the demand for biomedical research will increase, especially companies that have carried out research into neurosciences, stem cells and diagnostics in the past five years.
Following the research, Business Development Managers Dr Ian Madley and Dr Mike Musialowski stated that the research will prove especially useful for helping the University to align its industrial research activities in the biomedical area with the needs of its different customer groups.
The study revealed that over half of all companies interviewed are likely to consider the University of Manchester as a provider of biomedical research at some point in the next five years. This can only increase as the University of Manchester moves from strength to strength.
B2B International is a specialist in carrying out research with universities and educational establishments. Commissioned research studies vary from student and staff satisfaction studies to university branding projects and facility evaluation research.