Nov 14

6 Key Points from Life Sciences in Scotland 2018 Conference

Life Sciences in Scotland: Moving Forward Together to 2025 and Beyond
Technology & Innovation Centre, University of Strathclyde
12th November 2018

Organised by The Scotsman newspaper, key players from the Scottish life sciences sector gathered in Glasgow to learn about the Life Sciences Scotland 2025 plan for the future – building on recent work and refocusing minds.

A key goal is for Scotland to achieve £8 billion turnover by the year 2025 with national connectedness and international focus highlighted as a priority.

Serve the customer as they expect
The concept of “servitisation” was stated by Dave Tudor as a key goal for the pharmaceutical industry to achieve. Comparisons were made to Amazon, and buying a TV, with how hyper-fluid their process is to that of current pharma and pharmacy experiences. Customers won’t continue to accept poor service from scientific companies as other sectors they are familiar with make strides forward.

Value from collaboration
Translational processes are required to increase, to get more value from laboratories to patients faster and cheaper, with Lean, 6 Sigma and even digitalisation technologies being mentioned. Scotland has a great opportunity to do this by marrying the: NHS, biobanks, universities and industry together to deliver more patient value – faster and for cheaper. Dave Tudor also indicated the ageing population, drive for efficiency and global mega trends as key areas of focus for the Scottish life sciences sector.

Apply data for personalisation
Using data better was stated as an area of great opportunity with the human body identified as the greatest data platform ever created – coupled with the NHS can provide real insights for many areas. One insight is adherence to treatment and the effects of precision medicine (stratified and personalised terms were discouraged). Scotland was said to have good quality in this area but was struggling for quantity and more needs to be done to keep pace with Japan and South Korea.

We need more people
The talent pool was brought up as a growth driver and area of focus. Students perceive science as requiring a high level of education and don’t expect to leave school and enter work, which current apprenticeships allow them to do. However they do know what they want to do and want to make a difference – so life sciences needs to be presented as a more attractive and understood option. Furthermore those that are qualified must be attracted and retained as they’re typically highly mobile in nature and know their worth.

Processes need to be less wasteful
Clive Badman brought the audiences attention to efficiency relaying that sometimes companies manufacture for phase III trials before phase II is successful, which can result in waste should there be an unsuccessful outcome. Companies should invest for better processes for reduced expenditure. And he mentioned that big pharma doesn’t always appreciate or know the number of nodes in their supply chain – and that digital supply chains will be important in the future.

Digital technologies are critical
Digitalisation was a key theme arising in several talks: Professor Dame Anna Dominiczak bringing digital pathology to the forefront of life sciences in Scotland. With companies such as Canon and Philips having a presence in the country and the recent opening of the Imaging Centre of Excellence in Glasgow plus its integrated nature into NHS Scotland. This coupled with precision medicine was presented as a great opportunity for life sciences in Scotland, and companies abroad. BioClavis a US organisation was cited as working with the precision medicine unit.

These are the standout points and main focuses recognised by Creatifik and are genuine areas of concern and opportunity. We’re looking forward to next year’s event as this conference is here to stay and is a great addition to the calendar at the end of the year which can work to focus attendee’s minds for the coming year.

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