Tecan Gives Back is an employee-driven initiative supporting charities that help to improve people’s health and quality of life. Created as part of the company’s 40th anniversary celebrations, the scheme gives employees the opportunity to earn ‘kilometers’ for their chosen charity by engaging in fitness and wellness activities, or by volunteering. These are then pooled and converted into cash donations at the end of the month-long challenge. One of this year’s beneficiaries is World Cancer Research Fund (WCRF), a global research charity focused on reducing the risk of developing cancer and improving the outcomes for those already diagnosed.

Tecan’s mission is to add value to society by providing laboratory products that enable healthcare innovations, ultimately improving people’s lives and health. The ‘Tecan Gives Back’ initiative was created in 2020 as a part of this vision, and aims to promote a healthy lifestyle among employees while funding charities that support vital medical research. These goals are perfectly reflected in WCRF’s mission to help people to live longer, happier and healthier lives, free from the devastating effects of cancer.

Debbie Goddard and Dr Helen CrokerDebbie Goddard and Dr Helen Croker

Debbie Goddard, Head of Fundraising Development at WCRF, explained: “WCRF is the leading global cancer prevention charity, offering educational programs that teach people about how diet, weight and physical activity affect the risk of developing cancer, and supporting them in their pursuit of a healthier lifestyle. We also help individuals living with a cancer diagnosis, giving advice on nutrition and other factors that can improve their wellbeing and increase their chance of survival.”

WCRF’s educational programs and advice are grounded in decades of scientific literature, and the charity maintains close ties with the global research community. Its unique approach not only helps to fund vital cancer prevention research through direct grants, but also provides a holistic overview of current scientific understanding across a wide range of cancer-related topics. Dr Helen Croker, Head of Research Interpretation at WCRF, elaborated: “We have two main programs, our conventional Research Grant Programme – which funds novel cancer prevention and survivorship studies – and our flagship Global Cancer Update Programme. The latter provides an in-depth review of ongoing research, systematically assessing newly published peer-reviewed papers that investigate the relationship between lifestyle and cancer risk, as well as those looking at factors affecting survival rates and health after a cancer diagnosis. We carefully examine not just the conclusions of those studies, but also the quality of the research performed, and use this data from across numerous sources to create an overview of advances in understanding in this field. The main advantage of having these two programs is that we can identify the gaps in the current knowledge, and work to fill them by funding certain research projects.”

WCRF campaign imageWCRF campaign image

“When we started our mission in the 1980s, the connections between cancer and parameters such as diet, weight and physical activity were controversial,” Helen added. “WCRF has since made a huge difference to global policy and advice by firmly establishing these as modifiable risk factors for cancer. We also look at the underlying mechanisms behind our findings, helping to understand how certain factors relate to cancer at a biological level.”

The funds received from Tecan will help us continue our research and spread awareness about cancer prevention that can ultimately help to save lives.

Debbie continued: “Studies have shown that our cancer prevention recommendations are very effective in reducing the probability of various cancers, as well as other diseases with similar risk factors, such as diabetes and heart conditions. This type of education can have a huge impact on public health, as there are approximately 375,000 new cancer cases every year in the UK alone and, according to our research, up to 40 percent of those cases could have been avoided. The funds received from Tecan will help us continue our research and spread awareness about cancer prevention that can ultimately help to save lives.”

Martin Brändle, Senior Vice President of Corporate Communications and Investor Relations at Tecan, added: “We are delighted to be supporting WCRF and its research efforts into new cancer prevention strategies through the Tecan Gives Back initiative. This important work – alongside the efforts of other forward-thinking medical research and healthcare charities – fits with our vision of scaling healthcare innovation globally, as well as our aim to drive future developments in oncology.”


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