2019 has been a year of transition for RAFT. The Trustees recognized that our patients and our research would be better served by moving our laboratories away from a single location, that had become progressively less fit for purpose, and into designated centres of excellence for academic and clinical research.
We start 2020 with the confidence that, such transition having taken place, we have been able to find the best possible homes for our endeavours, thus shortening lead times, increasing the likelihoods to reach patients more speedily and with greater efficiency, whilst still maintaining over 30 years of RAFT’s identity and ethos intact.
Our Breast Reconstruction and our Keloid projects are now housed within state of the art laboratories at the Griffin Institute at Northwick Park & Saint Mark’s Hospitals, whereas our Bone Reconstruction project is hosted at the Eastman Dental Institute of UCL. The 3D Printing for Facial Reconstruction programme and the Bionic Limb project continue at UCL.
In these new locations, our scientists will be able to benefit from the support and the challenge of colleagues from a variety of scientific disciplines. All projects continue to be wholly funded and monitored by RAFT, ensuring that we remain at the forefront of clinical and scientific research in our chosen disciplines. We have now reduced our administrative staff to the very minimum, further enhancing the effectiveness of the funding we will receive.
We continue to monitor developments at Smart Matrix Limited, the company that was spun off in 2012 out of RAFT’s research. We are firm in our commitment that, at RAFT, patients’ needs always come first, but we will explore further opportunities for commercialization of our research if this means quicker and broader access for patients, as well as wider sources of funding for further research.
Throughout, we continue to be 100% reliant on funding from our supporters to ensure that our vital work can continue. No longer having to support a legacy infrastructure, RAFT has now become a very cost-effective charitable organization, sponsoring excellence within regenerative medicine. We have taken difficult decisions in the full knowledge that donors have choices and will only support the most relevant and best managed of projects.
We are proud of the work of our scientific staff and we are immensely grateful to our benefactors for their continuing support