LifeArc – changing a brand that changes lives

MRC Technology was originally a technology transfer and commercialisation division of the Medical Research Council. In 2000 it was established as an independent charity albeit operating under an MRC brand license. In addition to translating MRC science, MRC Technology also sourced promising health science and IP globally to progress into new patient treatments and diagnostics.

MRC Technology’s financial future was secured when a proportion of royalty income from the drug Keytruda® was realised. The money enabled a revision of their strategy and the ability to fund more collaborations and science projects directly.

To reflect the charity’s independence and growing ambition, and to avoid identity confusion with the MRC, MRC Technology needed to change its name and brand identity.

BrandPie first worked with the CEO and Management team of MRC Technology in 2015 to clarify the organisation’s purpose. Our work resulted in a definition of a new purpose, supporting the charity’s new strategy and direction.

In 2016 it became clear that MRC Technology would require a new name and identity. Again, we worked extensively with the CEO and management team and in consultation with the Board of Trustees to create a name that reflects the pioneering work the organisations does to turn great science into greater patient impact.

The name is reflected in a vibrant new visual identity, which demonstrates the role LifeArc plays in moving medical research towards the patient. The identity embraces the warmth of a people centric charity, complemented by a flexible system that can represent all elements of the organisation and communicate across a wide variety of audiences, from academic and scientific institutions, to other health charities and patients. The arc device can be dialled up or down, depending on the audience and the message, resulting in a simple and clear identity system that is distinctive in its sector.

“To move from a brand aligned for over 25 years with as well-known a heritage as the UK’s Medical Research Council, to one that had independence and kudos, had to be manged very carefully. BrandPie helped us get multiple stakeholders, on board with the new invigorated purpose, name and identity resulting in a highly impactful launch of the new brand.”
Jonathan McGee, Head of Marketing and Communications, LifeArc.

MRC Technology became LifeArc in June 2017.