WELLCOME Trust chairman Sir William Castell will use an event at Edinburgh BioQuarter this week to call for players in Scotland’s life sciences sector to work more closely together to boost the nation’s profile on the world stage.
The head of the £13 billion foundation, the UK’s largest medical research funding body outside government, will tell the sector that it must share ideas and knowledge between cities in Scotland.
Castell said: “The BioQuarter initiative is good but it’s not just about Edinburgh, it also has to be about Aberdeen and Dundee and Glasgow. The Scottish cluster is good, because it’s small enough that people will recognise one another and it’s demonstrated how well it can use its patient databases to help research into diseases.”
Castell, a former chief executive of health sciences group Amersham and ex-president of General Electric’s healthcare division, will call for the public and private sectors to work more closely together to create jobs by tackling the needs of the NHS.
“When I look around the world, I see Scotland does quite well in this area already but I can’t imagine for one moment that it’s a perfect partnership,” said Castell. “When I see great advances in Dundee, I say ‘great’ but I want you to share it with others. I want people to talk about the Scottish biomedical cluster in the same breath as Boston or California.”
Scott Johnstone, Scottish Lifesciences Association chief executive, said: “From the industry point of view, Scotland is already a cluster and we benefit from that joined up approach.”
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