Novartis was created from the merger of two Swiss-based life sciences companies in 1996. Since that merger – the largest in corporate history – Novartis has transformed itself into a highly focused leading healthcare company.
Opened in 2006, the School of Veterinary Medicine and Science is a leader in its field. At the forefront of veterinary medicine and science, it was recently ranked first in the UK for its research – with 95% of its activities classified at an international standard.
Animal Attraction: A new breed of Partnership
The Centre for Evidence Based Veterinary Medicine is an important new institution at the University of Nottingham. And the vital work taking place is already paying dividends – thanks to £3 million partnership funding from Novartis Animal Health.
From his office in Basel, Fabian Kausche, Global Head of Research & Development at Novartis Animal Health, is understandably excited about the benefits the project could bring – not only to Novartis and the veterinary industry, but to animal welfare generally.
The project began with informal discussions in 2006. “We understood the pedigree of University of Nottingham and wanted to collaborate specifically with them to build a centre that collected evidence about what works in clinical practise,” explains Fabian. “The results gathered will provide a valuable database for veterinary science research.”
‘Passionately saving, prolonging and improving animal lives’ is the Novartis mission statement. “That’s why the Centre for Evidence Based Veterinary ties in perfectly with our corporate vision,” he adds.
As a trained vet himself, Fabian also recognises that the centre will now play a vital role in training the next generation of talented vets: “We’re finalising an agreement whereby our scientists become part of degree courses at the University of Nottingham – for instance, by teaching a specialist module. It’s all about exchanging academic and professional knowledge,” he confirms.
Of course, a global perspective is crucial to a multinational company such as Novartis. “Although we fund other schemes in the USA, the Centre for Evidence Based Veterinary Medicine is one of the few projects with potential for worldwide impact,” confirms Fabian. “Of course, the University of Nottingham is renowned as a global institution.”
For instance, the centre is uniquely placed to conduct disease surveys. Recent surveys include demodectic mange incidence and companion animal worming.
The prospects for further development are also bright. “We’re intensifying our relationship with the University of the Nottingham to the level where we automatically think of each other,” he reveals. “At its core, this relationship is a simple exchange of ideas and knowledge with mutual benefits.”
It’s also a relationship with unlimited potential. “You really can’t put a figure on the benefits to our business,” the Novartis spokesman continues. “We’re all aiming for a positive outcome to improve veterinary science.”
At the heart of this pioneering relationship between Novartis and the University of Nottingham is a fusion of knowledge and expertise. “Above all, the concept of our partnership is to break down barriers between academia and industry,” concludes Fabian Kausche.