The UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT) is the UK Government’s economic development organization, which helps companies access the UK market and navigate the process of operating successfully within the market. BioMedSA has asked them questions on the UK life science industry and how DIT can help companies collaborate with the UK life science industry. DIT is a proud member of BioMedSA.
Q: How do you support life science companies and how can BioMedSA members, especially those interested in expanding globally, best engage with the UK’s Department for International Trade (DIT)?
Autumn: At DIT, we support companies by facilitating connections to the National Health Service (NHS), as well as regulatory agencies, clinical research networks, other critical government departments (including NIHR, MHRA, NICE, DHSC), and life science experts in the UK. We also tap into our local connections for grants, office/lab space, skilled talent, and other business needs. Additionally, we keep companies updated on current guidance, such as those regarding the UK’s exit from the EU. We host events that unite life science professionals from the UK and throughout Texas, including educational webinars posted on the BioMedSA Events calendar. Our team is located in Houston and covers the states of Texas, Louisiana, Arkansas, Oklahoma, and New Mexico. We work with companies of all sizes and stages who are looking for guidance on their UK strategy and tangible connections to move the needle forward on investment decisions.
Q: What are the major strengths of the UK’s life science ecosystem?
Geraldine: The UK boasts an excellent research base, is a global hub for genomics, excels at drug discovery and development and has a vibrant medical technology and digital health ecosystem. The “Golden Triangle” of London, Cambridge & Oxford is a world-renowned biomedical cluster but other regions in the UK also have centers of excellence. The North of England for example, also known as the Northern Powerhouse region (NPH), is the largest cluster for MedTech companies in England. With centers of excellence in infectious diseases, diagnostics, and wound care, the NPH is at the forefront of innovation in those fields and a great place for investors to grow their businesses. All across the UK, companies can access top talent, access biomedical discoveries for licensing and leverage academic-industry collaborations to accelerate translation and get into the clinic faster. The NHS is a global leader in clinical research and is readily accessible to validate your technology in clinical practice.
Q: Can you tell us more about the programs led by the Houston team?
Autumn: We have a lot of exciting things going on in Houston, and are eager to develop collaborations in San Antonio. We are seeing a lot of interest from UK companies participating in the UK TMC BioBridge accelerator program at the Texas Medical Center in Houston and are looking forward to developing the program for US companies looking to establish operations in the UK. We want to extend our outreach to other scientific communities in Texas and foster collaborations between the local academic institutions and the UK innovation ecosystem and academia. Innovation is at the heart of the UK’s prosperity agenda and Texas is an incredibly vibrant and innovative ecosystem where we see a lot of opportunities for collaborations!
If you would like to explore opportunities in the UK, feel free to connect with Geraldine or Autumn:
Geraldine Schott, Regional Life Science Specialist Northern Powerhouse
Autumn Waska, Trade & Investment Officer Life Sciences