BioWales 2015 and cooperation with Sweden

BioWales has quickly become a flagship event where international speakers and industry experts gather to discuss opportunities for businesses and organisations within the life sciences sector. I was very pleased to have been invited and was honoured to speak at the BioWales 2015 gala dinner. In my speech I focused on the close collaboration between the UK and Sweden in the life sciences sector and in particular between Cardiff and Lund.

In 2013 the Welsh Government’s life sciences sector and the Swedish Medicon Village signed a memorandum of Understanding (MoU). This was great news as the Medicon Village and the Welsh life sciences sector are perfect twin clusters. The idea is to collaborate in a straightforward manner to achieve mutual advantages for companies, universities and organisations.

It is worth noting that Lund and Medicon Village is going to be the home for the headquarters of ESS, the European Spallation Source – a pan-European research facility – of which the UK is a part. The many opportunities that will open up with ESS cannot be stressed enough.

If we are to meet global health challenges such as personalized treatment of cancer and multi-resistant bacteria – but also find a cure for Alzheimer’s disease - then we need international life science clusters that include academia, innovators and the broad and diverse commercial life science industry. This is why international twin clusters are so important.

I really enjoyed seeing Mrs Edwina Hart, Minister for Economy, Science and Transport again. She has played a key role in promoting the strength and capability of the life sciences sector in Wales and I always enjoy our conversations.

During my visit to Cardiff I had the opportunity to visit the Life Sciences Hub Wales. The Hub has quickly become a focal point for businesses and organisations and I was very grateful to Professor Chris McGuigan, Chairman of the Hub, for giving me an update on the many activities at the Hub.

Attending the BioWales 2015 was a great networking opportunity and I strongly believe that we can further extend the cooperation between the Welsh and Swedish life sciences sectors.

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