Birmingham health 'must develop a global brand'

Birmingham health 'must develop a global brand'

Steve Hollis, the deputy chairman of Greater Birmingham & Solihull LEP, believes Birmingham's health economy must now develop a global brand, to win the overseas investment which can underpin its future growth.

As the former regional chairman of KPMG, who also held high-profile positions within its international operations, he knows only too well that the world of high finance is attracted to big brands.

“It's wonderful that the Institute of Translational Medicine (ITM) is now a reality, and the Life Sciences Campus is progressing as planned, because the LEP has been right behind those projects from the initial concept.

“The ITM also gives the healthcare economy a tangible presence and focus, where senior policy advisers from Whitehall, ministers, politicians and other visitors can see how different organisations in the city have come together for everyone's benefit.

“The Regional Growth Fund, the LEP, the city council and the UHB NHS Foundation Trust all showed real bravery, to commit capital and revenue to deliver the ITM.

“The Silk Report has also reinforced our belief in the importance of the health economy to Greater Birmingham, and we are now engaging at strategic level with senior politicians, who are visibly impressed by what has been achieved here, and the potential to achieve much more.

“However, what happens next? For me, we need to up our game on the global stage. We need to position ourselves alongside such established international healthcare locations as Boston Singapore to attract global capital, and to do so we need a global brand.

”Yes, we've been able to access public money so far in our journey, but the LEP's job is now done, in a financial sense, and this isn't a time to be asking for money from government.

“We need more private sector capital to come in, and we also need a leadership group from here to take us to the next stage, because there is a great deal of hard work and commitment ahead.”

Interested in the West Midlands healthcare and life sciences sectors? Read the latest BQ2 with Ian Halstead here.