CameronDementiaSummit_600_300Last week David Cameron spoke passionately about the UK life sciences sector at the G8 Dementia Summit. He highlighted the government’s plan to double spending on research into dementia and the MRC’s commitment to spend an additional £150 million on clinical infrastructure for dementia and genomics. We welcome the Prime Minister’s continued commitment to the life science sector as a key part of his long-term plan for Britain and we therefore look forward to an early and positive government response on proposals for an early access to medicines scheme.

Early last week I was at the World Innovation Summit for Health (WISH) where I saw some excellent speeches on how to address some of the health challenges of the future. One topic which struck me particularly was when Andrew Dillon of NICE said that the innovative industry should be better remunerated for products to address anti-microbial resistance.

One Nucleus’ Genesis conference is always a good way to end the year. I was pleased to be engaged in the lively debate on funding in our sector over lunch with Kit Malthouse the deputy mayor listening intently to Andy Richard’s contribution. The “talent lounge” enabled delegates to discuss skills, training and recruitment. If you want to highlight the skills in your organisation Cogent has just launched its Life Science Skills Awards Programme for 2014. Nominations are now open. We have just taken on our second intern from Cogent’s placement service. If you are interested in the opportunity to bring a quality intern or student placement into your business now is the time to engage with Cogent’s #BigJanPlan campaign.

Just a couple of weeks after the Ministerial Industry Strategy Group accepted a series of recommendations to take forward to address challenges in medicines manufacturing in the UK it is great to see GlaxoSmithKline making further investments in the UK. Their decision to invest at Ware and Worthing and to build a centre for pharmaceutical manufacturing innovation is welcome and a further example of the benefits to our sector of the Patent Box, which was first called for in the Review and Refresh of Bioscience 2015.

I am delighted to say that our Gala Dinner on 30 January 2014 is nearing capacity and we have started a wait list and if you are interested in joining this, please contact Cathy Smyth.

Finally, this is our last weekly update of the year – the first Newscast of 2014 will be on January 13th. If I don’t see you on the webinar on how to get the best from JP Morgan on Thursday , I hope you all have a great Christmas and New Year and I look forward to working with you all in 2014.