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Growing the life sciences sector in Scotland – what will it take?


The impact of the Scottish Life Science Advisory Board (LiSAB), and success stories from across the sector are to be highlighted at today’s Life Sciences Forum and Dinner in Edinburgh.

They will showcase the work of LiSAB to date and aspirations for future delivery of the Life Sciences Scotland Strategy, providing another opportunity for industry to engage and input to this process. The event is hosted by ABPI Scotland, BIA Scotland and Scottish Enterprise, with an audience of CEOs and other senior management.

Highlights of the Life Sciences Forum include a panel discussion with the LiSAB Workstream Champions, and presentations from a range of companies on their successes and opportunities in this changing life sciences environment. The workstream Champions (experts developing LiSAB policies) taking part in the panel discussion are those for Capital, Collaboration, People, Infrastructure and Technology. The Forum will be followed by a Reception and Dinner at Edinburgh Castle, where Joe Fitzpatrick MSP of the Scottish Parliament Cross Party for Life Sciences will be the keynote speaker.

The importance of collaboration in the sector was further highlighted by the announcement this morning of the launch of Life Sciences Scotland Connections, which will provide a co-ordinated view of the country’s life sciences communications, achievements and activities. Its members are drawn from industry, academia, the health service and wider public sector, and it will promote the exchange of information and good practice as part of the Scottish Life Sciences Strategy.

Nicola Sturgeon MSP, Scotland’s Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, and Deputy First Minister, welcomed continued collaboration within the sector. She said:

“Scotland’s life sciences industry employs more than 30,000 people, contributes £3billion to our economy, and is a key area of future growth. It is based on our world famous scientific heritage and more medical research is carried out per head of population in Scotland than anywhere else in Europe. The Scottish Government is determined to further enhance this enviable reputation for excellence.

Life Sciences Scotland Connections is an innovative project which will ensure all those working in the life sciences sector will be able to share information and network more easily. This will help to attract further investment in this dynamic sector which, through the research it supports, brings direct benefits to patients in Scotland and the wider world.”

ABPI Scotland Director, Andy Powrie-Smith, noted that today’s joint event is another demonstration of the shared vision for a thriving life sciences sector in Scotland:

“To make the most of Scotland’s potential we need to ensure that ours is a country that champions innovation within life sciences and the NHS. One of Scotland’s key strengths is the work being done by people coming together across our own sector and alongside policymakers. Getting these collaborations right is vital to the long-term health and wealth of our sector – and the people we serve.”

Sarah Goulding, Acting Director of BIA Scotland noted:

“There is a wealth of life sciences expertise in Scotland, giving the industry a strong commercial footing for continued growth. The Life Sciences Forum and Dinner enables us to highlight success in the sector and to discuss future strategy and we welcome the launch of Life Sciences Scotland Connections as part of this.”

Rhona Allison, Senior Director, Life Sciences, Scottish Enterprise, added:

“The implementation of the industry-led Life Sciences Scotland strategy is delivering many success stories for Scotland. The Life Sciences Forum and Dinner provides a great opportunity to highlight and discuss progress to date and to build on recent developments, such as the launch of Life Sciences Scotland Connections.”


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