Life sciences sector: tell the Government what it can do to help you succeed

MedilinkWMUntil the end of June 2009, West Midlands life sciences companies have an unprecedented opportunity to tell the Government what it can do to help them succeed, as medical and healthcare industry specialist MedilinkWM launches the Voices of Industry Campaign.

Designed to give companies in the Life Sciences sector a united voice and combined influence, the Voices of Industry Campaign aims to deliver a proposal of crucial initiatives that the Government could implement to make an immediate impact on the prosperity of the sector.

Just two weeks ago Government and the Treasury stated that Life Sciences (the combination of medical technologies, healthcare, diagnostics, pharmaceuticals and biotechnology) forms the largest sector within the gross domestic product (GDP) of the UK.

Government has recognised Life Sciences as one of the three most important drivers of economic growth in Britain—followed by renewable technologies and the digital economy—to trade our way out of recession.

In response to this the Office of Life Sciences, headed up by Lord Drayson, is committed to delivering tangible, valuable investment and support for companies within just 12 months and has issued a challenge to industry to discover what steps can be taken to improve access to finance for SMEs and to stimulate investment.

MedilinkWM’s CEO Tony Davis has been a driving force in highlighting the needs and demands of industry in his role on committees reporting to the Office of Life Sciences, and the Voices of Industry Campaign aims to provide practical suggestions to directly solve many of the current issues.

Tony Davis said:

The Government has set us an urgent challenge, so we’re responding immediately by asking industry for its views and ideas. The Government is asking for ways it can help life science companies right now – let’s make sure they know what SMEs really need to thrive. It’s essential that every professional working in this sector looks at what the Government could do to make it easier for them to grow their business and unleash their entrepreneurial flair.

This sector has the potential to receive an influx of investment to ensure some short-term success stories and positive stories about the economy. I’ve been working to ensure that SMEs can benefit from this investment and become a strong success story themselves. The Voices of Industry campaign is here to give smaller industry an influential voice that reflects its combined strength and economic importance.

In a report for the Ministerial Medical Technology Strategy Group the need for action to support SMEs was identified in four key areas:

  • Access to the US market
  • Knowledge transfer and networking
  • Access to finance and access to the UK market
  • NHS clinical key opinion leaders

In two of these, the country’s Medilink network has been recommended for further investment to build more capacity to support SMEs in the medical technology sector.

Throughout June 2009, professionals involved in the life sciences sector are invited to participate on the Voices of Industry site [site no longer available – 19/11/2010], where they can respond to topics, register approval, send an email or upload an audio clip of their thoughts.

The campaign’s progress will be tracked in real time on the site as it gathers support across the West Midlands:

Screenshot of Voices of Industry Campaign

Comments added to Voices of Industry Campaign

The campaign for engagement culminates on 24th June 2009 with a high-powered, dynamic roundtable at the Medical Technology Innovation Centre in Edgbaston, to scrutinise every idea and suggestion submitted.

The resulting proposal will be presented by Tony Davis to the Department for Business Innovation and Skills (formerly BERR) and the Science and Innovation Minister Ian Pearson on 30th June 2009.

For more information, please contact Lisa Jones at Reeves Green on 01543 250505 / 07890 609933 or email

Thanks to Awen Clement at Medilink West Midlands for providing this post.

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