We’re pleased to be supporting the launch of a new initiative to increase the visibility of the South West’s growing life sciences ecosystem.

South West Life Sciences brings together eight partner organisations with expertise across discovery, development, investment and innovation in the life sciences: Bristol Health Partners, Health Innovation West of England, Bristol Trials Centre, GW4, Invest Bristol & Bath (part of the West of England Combined Authority), Science Creates, South West and Wales Advanced Therapies, and the University of Bristol.

It has been set up and is led by the University of Bristol’s Translational Research Hub, who will now work to broaden the geographical scope covered by engaging with organisations in the wider region.

The South West is a region with huge potential for growth and investment. It is home to over 370 life sciences companies, and employs approximately 20,000 people in the sector. The West of England sub-region is the third fastest-growing life sciences sector in the UK for employment, and its life sciences and technology-related ecosystem was valued at £8.1 billion in 2022.

The South West has made some of the UK’s most exciting advances in life sciences – from accelerating life-saving gene therapy research to launching the UK’s most powerful supercomputer. Unlike other regions of the UK, to date the South West has lacked a regional advocacy body and co-ordinated promotion of its life sciences sector.

These stories of innovation and collaboration are brought to life on South West Life Sciences’ new website: www.southwestlifesciences.com.

The initiative aims to support life sciences in the South West by fostering a joined-up local life sciences innovation ecosystem and acting as catalyst for its growth through making connections. It will advocate for its partners and the South West’s life sciences so that their voices are heard outside the region by government, industry, investors and international organisations. It is a first step towards establishing an advocacy organisation for the South West, which will increase the visibility of the region’s life sciences ecosystem.

South West Life Sciences has been funded by an existing Wellcome Translational Partnership Award to the University of Bristol.

Dr Sarah George, Head of the Translational Research Hub at the University of Bristol, said:

“We’re excited to have brought South West Life Sciences to life with our partners and we’re looking forward to working with more organisations in the future. We want to help them, and the region as a whole, benefit from the initiative, for example through new collaborations, increased investment and recognition of the excellent science taking place in our region.

“In the long term, we hope to develop South West Life Sciences into an independent organisation providing expanded services and support for its partners.”

Cheryl Scott, Senior Commercial Programme Manager at Health Innovation West of England, said:

“We are delighted to be a partner in South West Life Sciences. This is an extremely positive development for the region and we are looking forward to working with partners to build on this collaboration. The initiative will help put us firmly on the UK life sciences map by shining a much-needed spotlight on our success stories to date and in the pipeline.”

To find out more about South West Life Sciences, contact southwest-lifesciences@bristol.ac.uk.

Posted on July 10, 2024

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