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Board appointed to boost UK LifeSciences on global stage


A new strategy board, tasked with promoting the UK’s expertise in the biotechnology, pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, was announced today by Trade and Investment Minister Lord Digby Jones.

Chaired by Chris Brinsmead, President of AstraZeneca UK, the UK LifeScience Marketing Strategy Implementation Board is an integral part of a new strategy unveiled by Lord Digby Jones last November. Its aim is to demonstrate the UK’s world-leading position in LifeSciences, whilst combating intense and growing global competition in this sector.

The UK already enjoys an enviable position in LifeSciences, with the healthcare sector alone worth £120 billion in 2006. In that year, the pharmaceuticals and biotechnology sector was the largest investor in R&D in the UK, increasing investment by 10.5% and contributing to an overall R&D figure of £21 billion. The sector is also a huge contributor to British exports – in 2006 the pharmaceutical industry contributed over £12billion and the healthcare goods and services sector over £14 billion to UK exports.

Lord Digby Jones, commented: “The UK is Europe’s top R&D location and a global hub for scientific research but retaining this position in the face of growing competition from abroad is a significant challenge. The board announced today will be a critical driving force behind the strategy to give the UK LifeSciences sector a new and powerful voice on the global stage.

“The UK has a great story to tell with world class expertise and the firm backing of the Government, which is committed to making the UK the best global destination for LifeScience investment. In the past year alone, Government funding for scientific research hit over £3bn.

“The board is tasked with helping the UK articulate this story, clearly, consistently and persuasively. Its make-up inspires confidence. Bringing together business and government leaders, including leading figures within the UK biotechnology, pharmaceutical and healthcare sectors, I believe it has the right mix of experience to promote UK LifeScience successfully, as ambassadors of one of our countries global champion sectors.

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Chris Brinsmead, President of AstraZeneca UK and Chair of the a UK LifeScience Marketing Strategy Implementation Board, said: “I became involved in the strategy because I firmly believe that we can make a real difference to UK LifeSciences. In the UK our pharmaceutical, healthcare and biotechnology businesses are hugely creative and dynamic with a long tradition of success. We are rightly number one in Europe, but in a world where business can invest anywhere around the globe, we have to work even harder to protect our status as a centre for R&D innovation for the future.

“The strategy presents an excellent opportunity for us to really show our strengths to the world. Our role, as the Board, will be pivotal in directing the next critical phase of strategy development, and its ongoing implementation. We will oversee the delivery of the strategy and key decisions; forge dynamic new partnerships and make assessments about which activities should be pursued, when and by whom. Quite a challenge, but one that the Board and I are excited to undertake.”

Meeting this week for the first time, the board’s members are:
– Chris Brinsmead, President of AstraZeneca UK
– Kevin Cox, former President of Avecia Limited
– Robert Driver, UK Trade and Investment
– Professor Mark Ferguson, Co-founder and CEO, Renovo
– Dr Jeremy Haigh, VP and international COO, Research and Development, Amgen
– Chris Francis, Chair of the UKTI Healthcare Sector Advisory Group and Director of the UK India Business Council
– Dr Felicity Harvey CBE, Head of Medicines, Pharmacy and Industry Steering Group, Department of Health
– Sarah Haywood, Director, BERR Bioscience Unit
– Andrew Hotchkiss, UK Managing Director, Ely Lilly
– George Kennedy CBE, Chairman, Eschmann Equipment
– Andrew Richards, biotechnology entrepreneur and business angel
– Roy Johnson , medical device and healthcare entrepreneur

The board’s responsibilities include looking at which international territories will offer the greatest opportunity for UK business and then developing a shared marketing charter to help promote the UK’s LifeScience sectors consistently and persuasively around the world.

Representing business, government and academia, the board’s members will also look to drive partnership and share resources between business, trade associations, cluster and research organisations, universities and Government, to sell the strengths of the UK as the location of choice for inward investors.

UK Trade & Investment

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