IMI Programme Office: Why did Lhasa Limited decide to get involved in IMI?
Katharine Briggs: For us it was about alignment with our strategic objectives. Lhasa Limited was founded on the basis of data and knowledge sharing and we are collaborative by nature.
IMI Programme Office: What do you contribute to IMI projects?
Katharine Briggs: Our experience in data sharing and understanding of chemistry and life science data means we are ideally placed to offer an ‘honest broker’ service. Lhasa Limited has a long and successful track record in this role and has, and continues to be, regularly trusted with proprietary data.
IMI Programme Office: What have been the biggest benefits to you of working in IMI projects?
Katharine Briggs: For me personally it has increased my visibility within my own organisation, the consortium as a whole and, through publications, the wider scientific community. For Lhasa Limited it has helped us gain greater insight into our members’ use cases and workflows. This has been invaluable in guiding the development of our software products.
More broadly, all these projects are at the leading edge of research, and so taking part gives each partner the opportunity to not only push their own research forward but to become familiar with new scientific areas. For example, taking part in these projects has allowed us to explore the use of ontologies (in eTOX) and text mining (in iPiE).
IMI Programme Office: What advice would you give to another SME considering getting involved in IMI?
Katharine Briggs: The more you put in the more you are likely to get out of the experience. However, I recommend clarifying expectations early on as views can differ.
IMI Programme Office: What advice would you give to an SME that wants to get involved in IMI, but is struggling to find a consortium to join (or to build a consortium)?
Katharine Briggs: I would recommend getting in contact with other potential applicants and ensuring they are familiar with your expertise, as consortia tend to grow through word of mouth.