Yale and University College London (UCL) launched the Yale UCL Collaborative in October 2009 at a ceremony in Woodbridge Hall involving the heads of the two universities and their affiliated hospital systems, with Prime Minister Tony Blair acting as a witness. The Collaborative is a faculty-led initiative originating in cardiovascular medicine that expanded first to other biomedical fields and subsequently to other disciplines.
Yale and UCL share many similarities but at the same time are different in many ways. One objective of the Collaborative is to move away from standard faculty interaction – by which they tend to interact only with those whom they know in their fields – to a deeper and broader relationship that creates opportunities for significant engagement among faculty who are not already acquainted with one another. The Collaborative also helps to take better advantage of complementary resources, such as curricula and research specialties – and, in the biomedical sciences, labs, specialized equipment, differing national regulatory environments, services (eg. Genome Sequencing Center), and disease protocols.
The strategy is to build on what both institutions can do easily (faculty workshops/retreats, visits for lectures and symposia, student exchanges, joint projects, joint grant submissions) in order to increase the number of individuals with connections between the institutions with an eye toward unexpected opportunities.