News Column

Science Minister, David Willetts, Champions UK Life Sciences Ahead of BIO Convention

June 24, 2014



LONDON, June 24 -- The BioIndustry Association issued the following news release:

At a UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) 'Innovation is Great' event supported by Thermo Fisher Scientific on the eve of the BIO International Convention in San Diego, David Willetts, UK Minister for Science and Universities, praised the UK's leadership in life sciences to an audience of global pharmaceutical and biotechnology entrepreneurs.

The event focused on how leaders in both government and business need to evolve their policy and business models as the life science sector changes, and highlighted the UK government's commitment to creating a business environment that supports economic growth and re-establishes the UK's global leadership in the life sciences sector.

Answering questions from Steve Bates, Chief Executive, BioIndustry Association (BIA) who moderated the "In the Hot Seat: Stewarding Science and Business through the Culture and 'Climate' Change" session, Minister Willetts said:

"The UK has a great track record in scientific discovery and bringing products to patients - 78 Nobel prizes for biomedical sciences and counting, as well as being responsible for game-changing contributions to life sciences in areas such as genomics, stem cells, antibodies, and imaging. We have smarter, better, faster experimental medicine and clinical trials working with government-funded expert networks and people supported by business processes to deliver on time and to target. We are unlocking the 'big data' of the NHS, plus heavy investment in research resources such as the UK Biobank and 100,000 genomes project. With this great reference and discovery data set, plus leading global expertise in real world evidence generation alongside leading health regulation and health economics - we are home to the MHRA, EMA, and NICE - the UK is well set to be a global destination."

The wide ranging discussion touched on topics as varied as global stewardship during periods of change, maximising return on investment of research and growth budgets, staying competitive in a global economy, technologies of the future and responsible innovation.

Steve Bates added:

"It was great to have Science Minister David Willetts championing the UK Life Science sector in San Diego ahead of BIO. We have over 450 Brits at this event with great stories to tell. With UK government support the UK is becoming an unrivalled ecosystem that brings together businesses, researchers, clinicians and patients to translate discovery into clinical use. This ecosystem supports pioneers to bring innovation to market earlier and more easily, making UK companies your business and R&D partners of choice."

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