The UK delegation at BioJapan with Lord Prior at the centre
A UK life sciences delegation is heading to Japan to showcase the sector’s strengths and establish collaborations with business.
The delegation is led by regional cluster organisations the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA) and MedCity, with the Department for International Trade.
Business Minister Lord Prior, along with more than 40 experts from universities and biotech companies, attracted an audience of over 150 in Tokyo earlier this week, to highlight the UK’s successful university spinouts, digital health in the NHS, and academic-industry partnerships.
For the rest of the week the delegation will attend Asia’s biggest biosciences conference, BioJapan, in Yokohama, to meet with more Japanese businesses and promote the UK as open for investment, research, and business.
The UK is the fourth largest market for life sciences investment from Japan; particularly in oncology, immunotherapy and ageing, and has a strong collaborative research history with more than 8,000 researchers traveling between UK and Japanese universities every year.
The NHSA, an alliance of the top eight research universities, NHS teaching hospital trusts and four North Academic Health Science Networks (AHSNs) brought together the North delegation with representatives from Professor Mike Trenell of Newcastle University, Arjun Sikand of Health Innovation Manchester, Professor Colin Johnson of the University of Leeds and Dr Liz Mear of the NHSA and Innovation Agency, AHSN for the North West Coast.
Business Minister Lord Prior said: “Japan is one of the UK’s most important science and research partners which is why we are taking the largest ever delegation to the BioJapan conference, reinforcing our commitment to international collaboration to solve some of greatest medical issues of our time.
“We have made the biggest increase to Government funding for research and development since 1979, and through our work with industry partners on the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy, we are ensuring the UK’s expertise in this sector continues to go from strength to strength.”
Dr Liz Mear, Northern Health Science Alliance board member and CEO of the Innovation Agency, said: “Health Innovation is one of the key strands of government Industrial Strategy and trade delegations such as this offer global industry the opportunity to engage with the best in Life Sciences.
“Life Science hubs such as the NHSA, MedCity and the AHSNs were recognised in the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy as driving growth across the country and we’re delighted to be bringing our members to BioJapan to explain exactly why the UK is leading the world in health innovation.”
Sarah Haywood, CEO, MedCity said: “This delegation of leading health scientists and industry highlights the strength of our ecosystem, and the opportunities for Japan to do research, collaborate, and invest in the UK.
“The UK is currently the fourth largest market for life sciences investment from Japan, particularly in oncology, immunotherapy and ageing, and we value our natural partnership. With over 5,000 life sciences businesses, four of the world’s top ten universities, and world-leading research centres, we want to spread the message that even with the UK’s current political uncertainty, we remain open for science.”