Cambridge pledges to drive UK’s industrial renaissance from bio nervecentre

Malcolm Lowe Lauri

ambridge has laid out its credentials to drive the next stage of the Government’s Life Sciences Industrial Strategy to create jobs, growth and investment for  the whole East of England region.

The university and life science giants AstraZeneca and MedImmune have joined forces with the burgeoning Cambridge Biomedical Campus and pledged to work with the Government and partners in areas identified as major catalysts for growth.

A five-point roadmap highlights:-

  • The development of a MedTech Cluster where clinicians and technology companies will work together to develop devices and software to improve healthcare
  • A datahub to take advantage of the electronic patient record systems being developed in the NHS which creates a huge pool of real time information to help researchers with their work.
  • Assisting with the ‘scaling up’ of companies to ensure they become global players
  • Support for the growth in skills and the creation of new jobs across the East of England
  • Additional projects looking at cancer and other specialities where Cambridge is strong.

Cambridge partners in the initiative pledge that specific projects will be refined and developed over the next few months ahead of a final decision being taken by the Government regarding funding and support.

Malcolm Lowe-Lauri, executive director of Cambridge University Health Partners, said: “Cambridge is the capital of UK life science with over 400 companies now employing in excess of 13,000 people.

“This is a fantastic base from which to work that has been acknowledged by the Government today. Simply put, we have the machinery to drive growth not just in the city but across the East of England.

“The proximity, talent and backgrounds of the key organisations in Cambridge allow for new technology, innovation and ‘data lakes’ to be harnessed effectively. Nowhere in the UK and rarely across the world do you find this unique set of conditions. 

“By putting forward projects to develop a MedTech hub, ‘datalakes’ and assist with the early detection of cancer, we can move to rapidly develop this sector, improving skills and creating employment in Cambridgeshire and throughout the region.”

Dr Jane Osbourn, vice-president at MedImmune – AstraZeneca’s global biologics R & D arm – added: “AstraZeneca shares the Government’s objective of ensuring the UK remains a great place for science and innovation post-Brexit.

“AstraZeneca is the UK’s leading pure play pharmaceutical company with strategic investment in the UK, Europe and globally. We are pleased to have played a leadership role in the development of the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy. 

“Our global corporate headquarters are located at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus and we are investing over £500 million in a strategic Research & Development hub here.

“This reflects the importance we attribute to the science ecosystem, skills base, and academic excellence of the world-leading sector cluster in Cambridge, within the UK’s ‘golden triangle’ for life sciences.

“We welcome the importance attributed to infrastructure in the strategy which is critical for the 15,000 employees, academics, patients and visitors coming to the CBC every day.”

• PHOTOGRAPH SHOWS: Malcolm Lowe-Lauri

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