Health Innovation Manchester goes to Japan

Japan, Yokohama skyline

Health Innovation Manchester Commercial Director, Arjun Sikand was part of a high level UK delegation in Japan in which they promoting the strength of the North in life sciences. He was one of several colleagues who went along with Dr Liz Mear, who is the CEO of the Innovation Agency and also a Northern Health Science Alliance board member.

The trade mission, to showcase the UK’s strengths and foster collaborations in life sciences, was led by regional cluster organisations MedCity and the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA), with the Department for International Trade.

More than 40 experts joined Business Minister Lord Prior, to highlight the UK’s successful university spinouts, digital health in the NHS, and academic-industry partnerships.

They were taking part in Asia’s biggest biosciences conference, BioJapan, in Yokohama, to meet with more Japanese businesses and promote the UK as open for investment, research, and business.

Business Minister Lord Prior, who is instrumental in developing the Government’s Industrial Strategy and recently launched the Science and Innovation Audits highlighting the strengths of regions across the UK, said: “Japan is one of the UK’s most important science and research partners which is why we are taking the largest ever delegation to the BioJapan conference, reinforcing our commitment to international collaboration to solve some of greatest medical issues of our time.

“We have made the biggest increase to Government funding for research and development since 1979, and through our work with industry partners on the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy, we are ensuring the UK’s expertise in this sector continues to go from strength to strength.”

Dr Liz Mear, Northern Health Science Alliance board member and CEO of the Innovation Agency, said: “Health innovation is one of the key strands of the Government’s Industrial Strategy and trade delegations such as this offer global industry the opportunity to engage with the best in life sciences.

“Life science hubs such as the Academic Health Science Networks, NHSA and MedCity were recognised in the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy as driving growth across the country and we’re delighted to be bringing our members to BioJapan to explain exactly why the UK is leading the world in health innovation.”

Sarah Haywood, CEO, MedCity said: “This delegation of leading health scientists and industry highlights the strength of our ecosystem, and the opportunities for Japan to do research, collaborate, and invest in the UK.

“The UK is currently the fourth largest market for life sciences investment from Japan, particularly in oncology, immunotherapy and ageing, and we value our natural partnership. With over 5,000 life sciences businesses, four of the world’s top ten universities, and world-leading research centres, we want to spread the message that even with the UK’s current political uncertainty, we remain open for science.”

The UK is the fourth largest market for life sciences investment from Japan; particularly in oncology, immunotherapy and ageing, and has a strong collaborative research history with more than 8,000 researchers traveling between UK and Japanese universities every year.

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