Why you should attend The Scotsman's 2018 life sciences conference

Scotland's life sciences community will come together again this month to set a course for the industry to meet its ambitious turnover target of £8 billion by 2025.
The Scotsman Conferences.The Scotsman Conferences.
The Scotsman Conferences.

The title of the event, Moving Forward Together: To 2025 and Beyond captures the two key themes: momentum and collaboration.

Currently, the most up-to-date figures for the life sciences sector in Scotland are from 2015 and show a turnover of £4.2bn, with around 700 life sciences organisations supporting 37,000 jobs. New statistics for 2016 are imminent and sector leaders hope they will show a clear pathway to the 2025 target.

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Dave Tudor, co-chair of the Life Sciences Scotland Industry Leadership Group (LSS ILG) and a Vice-President at GSK, says: “Last year was about bringing the whole life sciences community together around the strategy and supporting its four key themes. This year is about showing momentum towards the 2025 target and fostering strong collaboration at all levels.”

That means celebrating high-level collaborative successes like the announcement that a Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre (MMIC) is coming to Renfrewshire (covered in detail in this supplement) – as well as understanding what advice and support young life sciences businesses need to turn them into the next big success stories.

In developing the event, The Scotsman Conferences has worked with the LSS ILG to find out what businesses at the start-up and scale-up stage need to help them thrive. This has informed the shape of the master-classes during the second half of the event – which will include how to get investment into your business, how to protect your Intellectual Property (IP), how to make the most of digitalisation and how to recruit the right talent at all levels.

Alix Mackay, co-chair of the LSS ILG Marketing & Communications Group, who will present a master-class on social media marketing, explains: “It is difficult for new and growing life sciences businesses to have a broad view of everything that their company needs to do to give it the best chance of success. To help them, we have worked with The Scotsman Conferences to develop master-classes which will resonate with these young businesses and meet their real-life needs.”

Tudor believes the life sciences sector has built on the strong platform laid down by the strategy in 2017: “Last year, the strategy set out very carefully the four areas where we need real focus – the business environment, innovation and commercialisation, internationalisation and sustainable manufacturing. We have seen tangible progress in all these areas, and this year’s event is about maintaining that momentum and continuing to support each other’s efforts – as the event title says, Moving Forward Together.”

Dave Scott, Senior Director, Tepnel Pharma Services, who spoke on internationalisation at last year’s conference and will chair this year’s event, said: “Different disciplines that make up life sciences in Scotland continue to compete and win on a global platform. The success of our scientists in areas such as pharmaceuticals, animal health, agritech and medical devices continue to cement the fact that Scotland is a place where ideas do become legend.” 

The new Scottish Government minister responsible for life sciences, Ivan McKee MSP, will open the event by stressing Scotland’s global ambitions, with Andrew Monro of EY discussing international trends in health and life sciences and what this means for Scotland.

After Tudor gives an overview of the last year and points the way forward, experts in specific fields will look at skills, partnership working and the creation of the MMIC. The key issue of engagement with the NHS will be addressed by Catherine Calderwood, Chief Medical Officer for Scotland.

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In a blog ahead of the event, Calderwood wrote: “We have good foundations to build on: the NHS is innovation ready, with advantages of a ‘one Scotland’ approach to R&D, world leading data and the benefits of the Community Heath Index; and through programmes like the Health Innovation Partnership (HIP) and the work of Scottish Health Innovations which already bring NHS and commercial innovators together. But I’m sure we can go further.” 

With presentations by young leaders and with growing companies like TC BioPharm offering advice on scaling up, there is something for everyone at the event – as Scotland’s life sciences sector moves forward together, to 2025 and beyond.

To book a place at the conference, call 0131-311 7233, email [email protected] or go to www. scotsmanconferences.com and click on the Life Sciences event.