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Unique partnership created

Collaborative hub for life sciences companies

Diane Harbison BioCityYoung life sciences companies are to be given an opportunity for greater collaboration when a unique Innovation Hub is launched later this month.

It will bring researchers and commercial enterprises together and will be based at the BioCity Scotland facility east of Glasgow.

The launch comes ahead of an expected doubling of the sector over five years and involves BioCity Scotland, Scottish universities, NHS Scotland, innovation centres, bio-pharmaceutical and big data companies.

Confirmed partner companies include multinational pharmaceuticals company Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centre, venture capitalist Epidarex Capital, and technology giant Toshiba.

Dr Diane Harbison (pictured), managing director at BioCity Scotland, said: “BioCity is perfectly positioned right in the centre of Scotland and our neutrality has allowed us to attract the cream of talent from all over the country to this Innovation Hub.”

Ken Sutherland, president of Toshiba Medical Visualisation Systems, said: “Toshiba actively engages with clinicians to help guide developments of our wide range of healthcare solutions, but partnership in the Innovation Hub adds a new dimension – allowing us an opportunity to have first sight of developing technologies which we can help commercialise, and the chance to meet and engage with new talent and ideas which could support Toshiba’s expanding global healthcare business.”

Professor Verity J Brown, vice-principal (Enterprise and Engagement) at the University of St Andrews, said: “For all universities, working with industry is essential in delivering the impact agenda. Partnership in the Innovation Hub allows us to access industry collaborators, with an ability to meet in a central location.

“In addition, the ‘Innovation Engine’ programme, developed by BioCity will assist St Andrews in ‘spinning out’ companies and aid the process of commercialising research.”

Since its launch in 2012, BioCity Scotland has quickly become a focal point for Scotland’s life sciences industry. BioCity provides high spec laboratories and office space, as well as access to expertise, finance and a community of like-minded people, making it a hothouse for biotech, pharmaceutical and healthcare businesses to start up and thrive.

The Innovation Hub will be launched at BioCity’s ‘Supercharging the Innovation Engine’ conference on 28 and 29 April, which will bring together life sciences professionals across Scotland to discuss innovative methods of working, challenge traditional thinking and allow entrepreneurship to flourish.

The conference will feature a wide range of speakers from academia, industry, pharma and corporate partners.  Headline speakers include:

  • Iain Uings, Director of Discovery Partnerships at GlaxoSmithKline;
  • Dr Kurt Hertogs, Head of Platform Innovation & Incubator Strategy, Johnson & Johnson Innovation
  • Dr Rob Pinnock: Director of Scientific Liaison for the UK, Ireland, Portugal & Spain, Merck
  • Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice Chancellor of University of Strathclyde
  • Dr Max Mizra, Pfizer
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