The challenges of developing new medicines are well known. Effective application of clinical pharmacology expertise is vital to the successful evaluation of potential new medicines. In drug development, this depends on effective integration of diverse skills. Many of these are currently in short supply, but through innovative partnerships between industry and academia there is an opportunity to reinvigorate the discipline by nurturing these key skills to the benefit of both partners. Specific areas of focus should be experimental medicine, modelling and simulation, and translational skills.