Speaking from deep personal experience, Mark talks about maintaining a resilient mindset under pressure; catalysing collaborations across disciplines and institutions; and galvanising teams with disparate agendas around a common goal.

Mark says: “Many of the world’s greatest scientists and technologists have discovered breakthroughs that have the potential to impact paralysed people’s lives today. Yet, the 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.

So,we are systematically forging connections worldwide to break through silos across disciplines and institutions to accelerate progress towards the cure. And, we are catalysing collaborations that have never been done before so that our research partners can navigate a pathway from scientific breakthrough, to regulatory approval and commercialisation for the entire global paralysis community.”

Take a look at some of Mark’s milestones catalysing collaborations that have never been done before through the Mark Pollock Trust.

Collaboration highlights

The following section is a timeline illustrating highlights of Mark’s Collaboration story in images and videos.


Catalysing Collaborations Across The Globe

Alongside colleagues at the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders and scientific collaborators at UCLA and NeuroRecovery Technologies, Mark and his team continue to work towards securing investment funding for exceptional neuro-tech start-ups with the potential to impact millions of paralysed people’s lives in the next decade.

Collaborating With Ekso Bionics

A picture of Mark walking in Ekso Bionics robotic legs in Trinity College Dublin

Mark and his team are working in partnership with Ekso Bionics to raise awareness of how exoskeletons, like the EksoGT™, and other advanced technologies, impact people’s lives with the aim of evolving the field of rehabilitation to accelerate the cure for paralysis.


Explaining the Research, Commercialisation & Investment Challenges

Mark is interviewed by award winning journalist Matt Cooper at Big Ideas, a multi-disciplinary conference that empowers the front runners in research to pitch their technology solutions and business propositions to the investment community. Mark speaks about the breakthrough technologies emerging from labs around the world and the barriers to making them available in the clinic.


Putting Paralysis Cures on the World Stage at Davos

Mark provided a powerful perspective on the human dimension of the fourth industrial revolution to audiences at Davos. Mark doesn’t just talk about the transformative intersection of technology and humankind – he lives it as he explores a cure for paralysis.


Facilitating a Venture Philanthropy Investment

Through Mark’s connections in the World Economic Forum’s Young Global Leaders, we supported NeuroRecovery Technologies to move one step closer to commercialising their trans-cutaneous spinal stimulators. As a founding member of WEF’s Druid Collective initiative, Mark and Simone catalysed the formation of a $4 million venture philanthropy fund with Presidio Partners in San Francisco and the Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation in New York. 


Mark’s Story Captured in Award Winning Documentary Feature Film

Mark’s rollercoaster story of blindness, spinal cord injury and work to cure paralysis with his fiancee, Simone George, is chronicled over the course of six years in Unbreakable – The Mark Pollock Story. Director, Ross Whitaker, said: “The film is really a testament to the power of human relationships and the human spirit to challenge seemingly unsurmountable obstacles.”

Talking Human Bionics with CNBC International

During One Young World’s annual conference Mark spoke to CNBC International’s The Edge about human bionics and finding and connecting people worldwide to fast-track a cure for paralysis.


Building collaborations with leading scientists & foundations

As part of the Fail Better exhibition at Science Gallery Dublin, award winning journalist Jonathan McCrea interviewed Mark and his scientific collaborators from the Frasier Institute in Kentucky and Ekso Bionics in San Francisco, as well as spinal research foundations Christopher and Dana Reeve Foundation in the US and Wings for Life in Europe.

I first met Mark while competing against him in the North Pole Marathon and was struck by his incredible spirit. To take on endurance challenges in places like The Poles, Himalaya and Gobi Desert requires great courage and mental strength. The fact that Mark completes these adventures after losing the use of his eyes and now his legs makes him truly remarkable.

Sir Ranulph Fiennes


Mark was a speaker at National Geographic’s Extreme Explorers dinner in Davos in January 2016. His personal story and insights were incredibly powerful, and clearly had a profound impact on everyone in the room. He embodies the spirit, resilience and determination that are the hallmarks of what it means to be an explorer.

Editor in Chief

National Geographic Magazine

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