Orthopaedic research can improve people’s lives in many ways. It helps develop artificial joints and limbs which are more comfortable and last longer. It finds better ways to relieve pain and improve quality of life, It furthers knowledge within the field, and can help the treatment of injuries arising from accidents or sporting activities.
There is so much still to learn about the human body. By addressing one aspect of the body – how it moves – and focusing all our funding and expertise on the musculoskeletal system which underpins movement, Orthopaedic Research UK has defined a clear role within the quest for a better life.
Basic research essentially creates new knowledge that is needed for a better understanding of the basic science of orthopaedics. These projects apply principles of scientific discovery – problem definition and hypothesis testing though trial solution and error elimination. The outcomes of such projects are trained researchers and new knowledge that is generally shared in the public domain through peer reviewed publication.
Discoveries made through basic research may generate Intellectual Property (IP) that should be protected. Further development may be suitable for translational research funding. Typically, basic research projects are at Technology Readiness Levels (TRL) 1 and 2.
Basic science is very important and fundamental to knowledge creation. The dissemination of this new knowledge into the public domain through this type of funding provides the foundations to improve the treatment of patients.
Translational research is suitable for projects that build on the foundations of outstanding orthopaedic science to develop therapies that may reach the clinical stage. These projects are intended to create the value of associated intellectual property through activities such as prototype development and testing for proof of concept.
In addition, other activities that are important for an orthopaedic technology to become a clinical therapy, such as means to encourage commercial development or support for clinical adoption, may be considered under the translational research programme.
You may consider that translational projects essentially increase the likelihood of clinical and commercial success for the associated orthopaedic technology by reducing uncertainty and risk, and use such an innovation management approach to establish the value created through the project activity.
Typically, translational research funded projects should be at Technology Readiness Levels 3 to 9 and the further along this pipeline they are, the greater should be the collaboration and involvement of commercial partners.
As a research grant giving charity, we are now under greater pressure to demonstrate impact in healthcare and translational research funding provides the means to do this.
Translational research aims to apply the fundamental knowledge generated from basic science studies and translating them into meaningful health outcomes and measurable economic benefits.
Patients are at the heart of all we do and therefore we are encouraging scientists to adopt a multidisciplinary collaborative research strategy in order to accelerate the innovation process and discoveries by focusing on patients’ real needs and improving their quality of life.