Our Mission

Our Mission


Millions of paralysed people worldwide don’t have the option to walk or to run or even to stand up but you can help change that. By signing up to Run in the Dark, you are joining a global community running, for those who dream to walk.

All of your donations and fundraising will support our charity partner Collaborative Cures to bring people together to cure paralysis in our lifetime.

Mark Pollock walking in Exo suit
Mark Pollock, Paula Cunniffe and runners
Mark Pollock walking in Ekso suit with carer.
Mark Pollock in hospital bed with physiotherapist


Unbroken by blindness in 1998, Mark Pollock became an adventure athlete, becoming the first blind person to race to the South Pole.

In 2010 a fall from a second-story window nearly killed Mark. He broke his back, and the damage to his spinal cord left him paralysed.

Run in the Dark was created to support Mark in those early days, and since then, with the help of so many people like you, he has been involved in projects to take spinal research out of the lab and get it to the clinic that are now valued at over $100 million.

Now, Mark is focusing on how to connect scientists and technologists with the appropriate business know-how, capital, and regulatory expertise to find a cure for paralysis.

Mark Pollock in wheelchair


Many of the world’s greatest scientists and technologists have discovered breakthroughs that have the potential to impact paralysed people’s lives today. Yet, these interventions are held hostage in the minds and labs of these spectacular researchers due to systemic failures in translating research from the lab to the clinic.

Furthermore, no individual scientist, technologist, entrepreneur, investor or philanthropist is going to cure paralysis on their own. But by working together, they will.

Through Run in the Dark’s charity partner, Collaborative Cures, Mark and his team are focused on creating systemic impact that will:

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1. Reduce 50-year scientific translation timelines to 10 years by creating the conditions for collaboration, facilitating healthy rivalries, and building trust.

2. Catalyse collaborations worth $1 billion by connecting scientists and technologists with business know how, regulatory expertise and capital.

This systemic impact will be achieved by:


We are co-creating research insights and learning modules with an interdisciplinary knowledge network of leadership experts, negotiation practitioners, performance psychologists and behavioural scientists to understand how to tackle systematic fragmentation.


We are inspiring scientists, technologists, entrepreneurs, investors, philanthropists and regulators to focus on creating the conditions for collaboration, facilitate healthy rivalries and build trust.


We are systematically identifying, mapping and building relationships with leading scientists, technologists, entrepreneurs, investors, philanthropists and regulators around the world to integrate their work and catalyse collaborations worth €1 billion.


Since 2011, Mark and his team have been involved in catalysing collaborations that are now valued at over €100 million. These include co-creating international neuro-modulation and robotics research studies; building an exoskeleton rehabilitation programme; facilitating multi-stakeholder relationships towards the commercialisation of academic research; and working alongside Wings for Life Spinal Research Foundation and the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation.

Since 2020, Collaborative Cures has:

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Building on research competed with The Dock, Accenture’s flagship R&D and Global Innovation Centre, completed a research project to understand how to remove blocks to collaboration with leading researchers.

Consistently built relationships with world-leading scientists, technologists, universities, companies and foundations to catalyse collaborations.

Catalysed connections and collaborations between universities and industry.

Reached over one million people to catalyse a broader public conversation about the importance of creating the conditions for collaboration.

Mark in Ekso suit