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Life Sciences Q3 2021

Embracing the exciting future of the life sciences industry

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Dr Martino Picardo

Chairman of Discovery Park, on behalf of Life Science Integrates

Collaboration plays a vital role within the life sciences industry. By bringing together leaders from across the sector including industry, academia, government and regulators we can provide unique opportunities to identify industry challenges to find strategies and solutions.

Dr Martino Picardo, Chairman of Discovery Park, shares his predictions for the future of life sciences.

How are open innovation and collaboration being addressed in the life sciences community?

The life science community is embracing the concept of partnership and collaboration over competition. As a result, we are working towards a common goal of improving patient outcomes. Different life science centres are embracing open innovation to different extents. For example, Alderley Park, Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst and ourselves at Discovery Park appear to be to be at the forefront. 

How does collaboration help accelerate productivity within this industry?

The cost of bringing drugs to market is too much for most companies on their own, as the risk is too high. Sharing the load can help make the process easier. In order to do this, we need to embrace partnership, collaboration and in particular consortium based approaches. These approaches combine knowledge and work towards a common goal. There are some great examples of how this has worked so far, including the Dementia Consortium and the Vaccine Taskforce. 

Partnerships are best and supply chains and community engagement are crucial.

What infrastructure support is necessary to help with this?

My mantra is you require the “holy trilogy” to accelerate productivity. You need people, infrastructure and money. The demand for lab-based infrastructure is currently very high in the UK and there is a strong desire at all levels to bring manufacturing back to the UK. This will require space and strategic thinking.

What can we expect for the future of life sciences?

A bumpy but exciting ride! There has never been a more exciting time for UK life sciences. We need to continue to learn and build on our pandemic experiences. Partnerships are best and supply chains and community engagement are crucial. We need to improve the way we promote the value of science in our lives. We need more articulate and communicative scientists and ones with digital and data experience. Finally, we need to focus more and more on patient benefit.

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