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Thrive was set up by Funding London, a venture capital company bridging the finance gap for early stage businesses based in London. With over a decade’s experience in supporting the startups of London through a variety of funding vehicles, Funding London sensed a need to illuminate the ever-evolving scenario of London’s early stage businesses.

Thrive features interviews with and opinion from budding entrepreneurs, investors and industry experts. A mix of contributors from all areas of the industry is desired in order to spark genuine discussion about ongoing critical issues. While it showcases the effectiveness of successful ventures, it also encourages sharing lessons learned from missteps and unsuccessful projects.

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Growth · 31 July '17

Two opportunities, One solution

Asset Crack Down

Even before Brexit was looming, research councils in the UK and globally were cracking down on asset utilisation in research laboratories.  Academics persevere in writing grants with the hope of receiving funding for breakthrough research and with funding they are able to purchase critical assets.

An unfortunate side effect from acquiring that key piece of equipment is that when the project is complete, so is then the utility of said asset. As a result, populating one list “to rule them all” for lab equipment within universities is becoming more frequent.

The lists are used to glean information on how many assets the university has and how often they are being used. As one can imagine this is an overwhelming task that inevitably becomes out-dated.

One issue is finding a way to gain profit on all these under-utilised assets. Advertisement would be ideal not only for external, but internal use of these prized pieces of equipment. The timing could not be better for an online marketplace that collaborates with the universities by using their equipment lists and making them available via a sharing platform to customers who are already looking for lab equipment. Thus, forming unique collaborations, and allowing efficient utilisation of assets and technical expertise.

Clustermarket is the marketplace research institutions have been looking for.  As a means for accountability of research grant assets, and maximising the likelihood of receiving future funding (impressionable being able to show asset utility).  Designed specifically to encourage unique collaborations, and provide a one-stop-shop for academics, young entrepreneurs and even the bigger pharmaceutical companies.

 Why does this matter to my company?

Now, more than ever, industry is employing scientific methods to drive innovation.  No matter what stage your company is in, finding scientific resources can be tricky and time consuming. Whether you are looking for a mass spectrometer for that one pilot study, or prototype testing and assessing one’s minimum valuable product, it is difficult not only to locate but also using it presents another hurdle.

The problem is knowing exactly which piece of equipment you need, where it is located, and/or possibly if there is space out there to rent at a fraction of the exorbitant London rates. Additionally, once these are identified, it is a matter of approaching the “provider” of these goods. Google is a phenomenal search tool, but can lead to goose chases, and result in several lost emails to people who have never heard of you.

The answer: Clustermarket, where you can search for lab equipment, services and space. If you are unsure of what you require, there is a concierge to accommodate equipment/service requests. For example, we are currently helping a company test their prototype. We have secured lab space and equipment to assist them at this critical stage.  From spin out companies to established pharmaceutical conglomerates, Clustermarket has sourced equipment and/or services for proof of concept studies and expanded research and development.

Although barriers do still exist between academia and industry these are slowly being removed, and replaced with less time consuming and more affordable research approaches.