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20 March 2013
Plans to create a hub for the whole of the Life Sciences sector in Wales to stimulate interaction, innovation, networking and collaborations are to be driven forward by a University scientist.
Assembly Government Minister for the Economy, Science and Transport, Edwina Hart has asked the University’s Pro Vice-Chancellor for Research, Innovation & Enterprise Professor Chris McGuigan, to oversee the launch of Wales’ Life Sciences hub.
The hub will act as a central resource for the whole of the Life Sciences sector in Wales including academic, business, clinical and funding organisations.
Professor of Medicinal Chemistry in the School of Pharmacy and Pharmaceutical Sciences, Chris McGuigan said: "The Life Sciences hub represents a major commitment by the Welsh Government to this sector. It is a central pillar in the vision to create a thriving Life Sciences ecosystem in Wales.
"Along with the recently announced £100M Life Science Investment Fund this will place Wales firmly on the World stage as being open for business in this key sector."
Announcing the creation of the hub at BioWales 2013, Edwina Hart said: "Our overriding aim is to grow the sector through supporting business growth, encouraging innovation and providing access to finance and expertise.
"We want to build up world class businesses in Wales and retain them in Wales. We have good assets and real excellence here in Wales and I want to promote and raise the profile of the sector nationally and internationally.
"The Life Sciences Hub will help us achieve that and I am pleased to say the concept has the firm backing of the sector across Wales. It will be a centre of knowledge and a central resource, providing a shop window for the sector and more.
" It will enable us to showcase the diverse range of expertise and capability in Wales and act as a catalyst for innovation, investment, collaboration, and interaction between the private and public sector, industry and academia, business and the NHS."
The Minister said Wales has to take advantage of its scale to be connected, focussed and fast – key elements of the hub concept.
The hub will:
· Connect and concentrate Life Sciences in Wales by bringing activity, people, policy, and knowledge together in one place, across academic, business, clinical and investor organisations;
· Attract new opportunities and investment to Wales by raising the international reputation of Wales as a centre for Life Sciences, developing an international network and bringing new businesses, investors and academics to visit Wales;
· Accelerate the growth of Life Sciences in Wales by sourcing and brokering opportunities, using funds and proven management together as ‘intelligent money’ to accelerate innovation, and delivering an investment-ready pipeline to commercial investors.
Sir Chris Evans, Chairman of Arthurian Life Sciences managing the new £100M Welsh Fund said: "I'm delighted Chris has been asked and agreed to chair this Task and Finish Group as Wales now needs his drive and energy to establish this truly iconic, world- beating Life Sciences hub in Cardiff and accelerate the growth and success of this sector in the UK."
The hub is a key element of the Life Sciences Sector Panel’s vision to grow the sector and establish Wales as one of the best environments in the world for Life Sciences innovation. It is part of a wider strategy which aims to deliver at least £1 billion of extra value in the sector in Wales by 2022.
The hub will be the base for public and private sector specialists and strategic partners, covering all elements from funding to business support to international development and promotion.
The hub will also accommodate the team from Arthurian Life Sciences Ltd managing the £100M Wales Life Science Investment Fund.
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