Industrial Fellowship 2013-16

Industrial Fellow: Jordan Conway
Company: Sirakoss
Company industry: Medical devices
Company size: 2-10 employees
Company founded: 2010
Industrial Supervisor: Brian Butchart, Chief Executive
University: University of Aberdeen

“The knowledge I developed under the Fellowship helped me make informed decisions around commercialisation.”

The Industrial Fellowship gave me the opportunity to investigate scientifically-interesting projects as part of my own research, alongside the overall business strategy of my sponsor company, orthopaedic medical device start-up Sirakoss. This ultimately led to greater know-how and background IP for myself, which benefitted the company by strengthening the team’s knowledge. In 2020 my industrial sponsor company was acquired by leading bone-regeneration company OssDsign for $11 million, thanks to key company achievements such as the FDA clearance on a new product that originally stems from early prototype materials I worked on under my Fellowship.

The Royal Commission’s prestigious reputation was advantageous in our early conversations with Series A investors, and its significant PR helped attract key members of staff, leading to company expansion prior to the acquisition. Moreover, with the funds available for travel provided by the Commission, I was able to attend international conferences and meet with end-users to understand the market need and guide lab-based research product developments. These types of activities are critical to develop new product offerings, and the ideas they generated allowed me and the team to progress from the lab to manufacturing at scale.

In a small company, so often the team’s knowledge, skillset and experience make up a significant percentage of the company value. The more you can de-risk and add value, the more attractive the opportunity, and a large portion of my knowledge and understanding of the materials and synthesis processes from my early research under the Fellowship meant I could perform my daily job with a deep knowledge in the field to make informed decisions around the commercialisation pathway. I played a key role in managing and planning for the FDA clearance on our new putty product, and it was my knowledge and skillset developed and honed during my Royal Commission Industrial Fellowship that enabled me to successfully undertake this project. This significant milestone for my sponsor company ultimately led to the company acquisition and demonstrates the value of concept to clinic style of research.