Outsourcing to Russia delivers results to a UK-based biotech firm

Our client was a medium-sized biotech company based in southern England. Its progress had been delayed due to the slow speed and high cost of several of its R&D activities. Following a discussion on collaboration with universities as a low-cost method of accelerating these activities, the company had made some headway. However, there were still significant opportunities for improvement.

Our challenge

The client asked us to find a partner with focus on its particular technical area – a partner that would be able to dedicate significant resource to dealing with the client’s R&D issues and deliver results within an acceptable time and cost frame.

What we did

Traditionally, the client had only approached English-speaking universities, due to communication issues. However, as part of our research we discovered several other viable opportunities.

One university in Russia stood out as a preferred candidate. The main contact was an internationally renowned professor who was an expert in the client’s area of interest. He was also an international speaker, and his team of PhD students all had reasonable to excellent command of the English language.

Furthermore, TCii had already had dealings with the university on behalf of another client, and was able to demonstrate the excellent and cost-effective work that collaboration with the university had already delivered.

We handled the negotiations on our client’s behalf. We reached agreement with the university on a clear list of objectives, time frames and deliverables, plus a schedule of real-time communications via VoIP and video conferencing, taking into account the three-hour time difference between the university’s location and the UK.

The system was piloted for one month and then fine-tuned to remove a few teething troubles.

The outcome

The collaboration ran for two years and achieved 95% of the targeted outcomes and time frames. The UK CEO of our client company commented:

“At first we thought collaboration with a university in Russia was a crazy idea, but when the TCii team explained the excellent fit that this particular university could provide to our needs, and the results from its previous collaborations, it was clear that this was something to pursue. Looking at the two years we worked together, I can say that it was some of the most productive collaboration I have ever experienced. An added benefit was that the cost was a fraction of the cost of working with a UK partner.”

The collaboration came to an end when the client company was sold to a venture capitalist for an attractive price.

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