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Life Sciences: a key sector for the Glasgow economy

By Craig Johnston - Posted on 17 November 2016

In the latest in our series of Powerhouse events in conjunction with PwC, the focus was on the life sciences sector in Glasgow. Craig Johnston, CMAC Industry Director, was one of the speakers and here looks at what was discussed.

The Life Sciences sector is a key factor for Glasgow and its economy. Glasgow’s life sciences sector is large and diverse and has been dubbed the Glasgow BioCorridor, stretching from the East End of Glasgow to Irvine on the West Coast. In the Glasgow BioCorridor more than 233 companies operate in life sciences, employing upwards of 10,300 people.

It’s an important area of business which made it an obvious contender for the latest in the Glasgow Powerhouse series of discussion events. On November 9 I was delighted to be one of the speakers amongst the representatives from the West of Scotland Life Sciences sector at the fourth Glasgow Powerhouse event.

Event host Kevin Moore OBE, serial entrepreneur and chair of the Life Sciences Work Stream at Glasgow Economic Leadership, welcomed speakers from GSK, PwC, Strathclyde’s CMAC (Continuous Manufacturing and Crystallisation) and TC Biopharm. The interactive event provided a forum to discuss topics such as growing life sciences companies in the Glasgow Biocorridor, funding sources, and supply chain opportunities through large pharma inward investment in Glasgow.

An update on the recent Life Sciences Strategy Refresh was also presented. Discussion was dynamic and suggestions for how this strategy could be delivered were at the heart of the session. Everyone agreed with the need to focus on the scale of ambition and to adopt a joined up, aligned approach to strategy deployment.

As CMAC Industry Director I was one of the speakers at the Powerhouse breakfast and I believe we should be using the region’s key academic jewels to provide a hook for broader supply chain growth. This was also a theme that I jointly covered recently with PwC at the CPHI conference in Barcelona.

The Powerhouse event provided a great platform for some key Life Sciences players in the Glasgow area to get together in a relaxed environment and share best practice. We’re looking forward to seeing the outputs from the event and sharing these with the Glasgow Economic Leadership (GEL) Board Life Sciences work stream.

CMAC is recognised as a global leader with Tier 1 members GSK, AZ, Novartis, Bayer and more recently, Lilly and Takeda. At present, only GSK have a manufacturing base in Scotland so there is a great opportunity to develop a pharma eco system alongside CMAC.

CMAC is a world class dedicated international centre for manufacturing research and training in advanced pharmaceutical manufacturing. Working in partnership with industry, CMAC are transforming pharmaceutical supply chains for the future. An example of global recognition is CMAC and the University of Strathclyde being the first academic institution to win an award from the ISPE Facility of the Year (FOYA) programme. FOYA is the premier global awards programme recognising innovation and creativity in facilities serving the regulated healthcare industry.

The FOYA award is a fantastic achievement for CMAC and our partners, in particular as it recognises the unique world class facilities and high quality collaborative environment that has now been established in TIC to support our research and training activities. CMAC look forward to continuing to extend our collaborative approach and welcome new partners to come and work alongside us within the new CMAC National Facility.

If you’re keen to find out more about CMAC, please contact Craig Johnston and for more information on the Glasgow Powerhouse series, please contact SBS.marketing@strath.ac.uk

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