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


When Mark Pollock broke his back in 2010, he discovered that paralysis strikes at the very heart of what it means to be human. It turned him from his upright, running, jumping form into a seated compromise of himself.

Mark learned that it’s not just the lack of feeling and movement, it also interferes with the body’s internal systems that are designed to keep people alive. Multiple infections, neuropathic pain and uncontrollable spasms are common. These are the things that exhaust even the most determined. And, along with fundamentally impacting quality of life, it comes with €4 million average lifetime cost of care, there are huge barriers to getting back to work, and premature death is inevitable.

Through these experiences, Mark and his team observed a systemic lack of collaboration and a pattern of world-class stakeholders working in isolation, ultimately impeding progress towards a cure which will benefit millions of paralysed people around the world.

Collaborative Cures was set up to scale work Mark and his team had been carrying out for 10 years to fast-track a cure for paralysis.

Mark Pollock in wheelchair


Everything Collaborative Cures does is about bringing people together to cure paralysis in our lifetime which will produce a public benefit for up to 60 million people around the world with some form of paralysis.

Collaborative Cures focuses on bringing people together to create systemic impact that will:

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

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