KQ Labs launches an exciting collaboration with world- renowned arts and design college Central Saint Martins 

KQ Labs, an accelerator programme for high growth potential companies in the area of data-driven health, delivered by the Francis Crick Institute and funded by LifeArc, is delighted to announce a collaboration with Central Saint Martins, world renowned arts and design college and constituent college of the University of the Arts London.

On 17 November, academics from Central Saint Martins provided an all-day workshop to participating KQ Labs entrepreneurs, structured as an overview of human-centred design principles and tools and an introduction to CSM’s capabilities and expertise. The CSM academic team is providing follow-on mentorship to select early-stage companies participating in KQ Labs on their design and business challenges, recommendations for the development of their product/service and general guidance on the types of impact human-centred design processes could have on their work. The pool of experts from Central Saint Martins have expertise ranging from product and industrial design, visual and graphic design, to user experience and human centred design methods and practices.

A key ambition of KQ Labs is to catalyse development of a world class data-driven health ecosystem based in London’s Knowledge Quarter, validating new ideas and putting exciting companies on the path to receive further investment.

This initiative presents an exciting opportunity for innovation, collaboration and knowledge exchange within the Kings Cross Knowledge Quarter community.

Barbara Domayne-Hayman, who leads the KQ Labs programme, commented: “We are really excited to be working with Central Saint Martins. The Crick and CSM are two leading institutions in the Knowledge Quarter, here bringing together science and design to help innovative early stage companies think more deeply about how design can further improve their business propositions”

Nick Rhodes, Programme Director, Product, Ceramic & Industrial Design, said  “At Central Saint Martins, we see art and design as transformative capacities for productive change in the world. This collaboration between our institutions is an exciting example of this, bringing our design disciplines and expertise into partnership with a range of promising early-stage businesses. Hopefully, this project will serve as a starting point to further build upon innovative ways of working across the Francis Crick Institute and Central Saint Martins.”

About Central Saint Martins

Central Saint Martins, UAL is globally renowned for the creative energy of its students, staff, and graduates. Its educational reputation across art, design and performance is demonstrated by alumni who shape the world including Campbell Addy, Grace Wales Bonner, Natsai Audrey Chieza, Mona Hatoum, Kim Jones, Tej Chauhan, Cecilia Weckstrom, Luke Pearson, Bode Oluwa, Afroditi Krassa, Arabel Lebrusan, Natasha Chetiywardana, Tom Karen, Sebastian Conran, Stella McCartney, Saul Nash, Alexander McQueen, Morag Myerscough and Sandy Powell. Central Saint Martins is part of University of the Arts London (UAL), an international centre for innovative teaching and research in arts, design, fashion, communication, and the performing arts.

About KQ Labs 

KQ Labs is an accelerator dedicated entirely to data driven health with a global focus and providing longer term support, as we aim to catalyse the building of an ecosystem. Run by the Francis Crick Institute, funded by LifeArc, and with the support of many partners, KQ Labs offers a customised framework, providing critical expertise and support to ten carefully selected companies, all solving significant healthcare challenges. The programme includes a convertible loan (£40k), workshops with experts tailored to digital health, mentoring by a hand-picked network of experts, and introductions to investors and corporates.

The intersection between the biomedical and data sciences promises to play a transformational role in solving some of the most difficult challenges facing global health systems. The KQ Labs accelerator represents a unique opportunity to catalyse the creation of a world class sustainable digital health ecosystem based in London’s Knowledge Quarter. By harnessing the world-class data science and biomedical resources available in the area, we can reinforce the UK's position as a major force in artificial intelligence in health and life sciences and build a world class cluster of successful data-driven health start-ups.

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About LifeArc 

LifeArc is a self-funded medical research charity. Our mission is to advance translation of early science into health care treatments or diagnostics that can be taken through to full development and made available to patients. We have been doing this for more than 25 years and our work has resulted in a diagnostic for antibiotic resistance and four licensed medicines.

Our success allows us to explore new approaches to stimulate and fund translation. We have our own drug discovery and diagnostics development facilities, supported by experts in technology transfer and intellectual property who also provide services to other organisations. Our model is built on collaboration, and we partner with a broad range of groups including medical research charities, research organisations, industry and academic scientists. We are motivated by patient need and scientific opportunity.

LifeArc has a number of different funding mechanisms to invest in promising innovation for the benefit of patients. Our Philanthropic Fund provides grants to support medical research projects focused on the translation of rare diseases research.  Our Early Ventures investment strategy builds on our Seed Fund portfolio of start-up companies; investing in innovative new modalities, technologies and translational research that have the potential to generate impact for patients and income that will enable us to drive further innovation

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