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European Space Agency hosts Chamber’s second Life Sciences Roundtable

March 14, 2018

European Space Agency hosts Chamber’s second Life Sciences Roundtable

The Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce recently held its second Life Sciences Healthcare (LSH) roundtable under the theme, ‘How do we ensure that the Thames Valley remains a great place for life sciences companies to do business?’.  Hosted by the European Space Agency in Harwell, Oxfordshire, the event was attended by a strong group of senior representatives of leading academic institutions and a broad cross-section of life sciences businesses from across the region.

During the event, the Chamber was invited by keynote speaker Matthew Speers, Chief Executive of the Life Sciences Organisation at the Department for International Trade’s (DIT), to create a working group to contribute proposals to the Life Sciences sector deal. The Life Sciences sector deal forms part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy and will help to ensure new pioneering treatments and medical technologies are produced in the UK. The deal includes significant commitments in research and development from the Government.

Representatives from the Thames Valley, including TVB-LEP and Ox-LEP, will be active participants in the newly formed group.

Matthew Speers commented: “John Bell’s Life Sciences Industrial Strategy published in the autumn of last year sets out the vision and provides the framework for the sector to engage with. I very much welcome the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce picking up the challenge and taking the lead in a significant collaboration to develop an ambitious, high impact offer that Government will find difficult to refuse in the next round of the Sector Deal”.

Paul Britton, CEO at the Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce added: “Fantastic news to be asked to champion a new working group, with the results shaping the future agenda of this vitally important industry, and feeding back into Government directly.

“Plenty of new ideas were put forward at the most recent roundtable, including how the strong cluster is attracting high calibre staff. Indeed, the depth and range of LSH businesses located in the sub-region strengthens the profile and position of the Thames Valley within the globally renowned Golden Triangle.

“These ideas will now be considered individually with recommendations put forward on achieving positive results.”

Key areas of focus for sustaining the competitiveness of the LSH sector included:

  • Need to provide appropriate sized and positioned property for high value life science including manufacturing facilities
  • Clear and consistent messages surrounding Brexit, particularly regarding pharmaceutical regulation
  • Staff retention and global talent
  • Appropriate funding for start-ups
  • Bridging the gap between LSH companies and the NHS; reviewing new technology and getting new products through to patients
  • Strengthening and supporting industry networks

The third Life Sciences Roundtable will be held at Thames Valley Science Park in September 2018.

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The Chamber of Commerce

Paul Britton
Chief Executive

We work alongside the Department for International Trade (DIT), the region’s Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs), Local Authorities and professional service providers to support foreign direct investment (FDI) into the Thames Valley.

For the 2017/18 financial year, we are proud to report that the Thames Valley has retained its status as the number one region in the UK, outside of London, for attracting FDI. 191 FDI projects were recorded as entering the region, with a high proportion of these investors strongly supported by the Chamber.

Contact Paul Britton

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