I am very excited to announce the arrival of Med City. Today (8 April) the Mayor of London and I will launch this new organisation, which will promote the South East of England as the world’s premier region for life sciences.
You may wonder why such an organisation is needed. The BIA’s members will all know that the Cambridge-London-Oxford triangle is already home to the most important agglomeration of scientific research on earth. (Technically it should be “Med Cities” as all three cities are central to this success). But the public at large, regulators in London and Brussels, and investors around the world need to be reminded of the amazing opportunities that we have to offer in this triangle.
Not only do we have the world’s most important academic centres – UCL, Oxford, King’s, Cambridge and Imperial – but we also have a cornucopia of private sector research, from start-ups that will shift the tectonic plates of medicine to the big pharmaceutical investors like GSK and Johnson & Johnson.
Importantly, and uniquely in the world, we are the only global bio-science centre that is also a global financial hub and is also the seat of government for a G8 country. Only in London does this mix of science, money and regulation come together, and with the scientific epicentres of Cambridge and Oxford within an hour of the capital, we truly have what it takes to be the most powerful discovery engine on earth.
And these discoveries matter, not only for the economy (as Deputy Mayor for Business I think this field is where the UK can truly be internationally competitive), but also for the quality and happiness of all our lives.
Med City will drive investment from around the world. It will provide a coherent voice to governments and the EU. It will identify gaps in the triangle’s offer, and seek to fill them by bringing together the key players. Crucially, it will complement the excellent work already being done by organisations such as the BIA. I am very grateful to Steve Bates for all his support in the development of Med City so far, and I am very glad Steve will join me, the Mayor and Eliot Forster – Med City’s interim Chair – in ringing in this new chapter in Britain’s glorious scientific tradition.