East of England Science and Innovation Audit – Life Sciences Theme

Commissioned by the Department of Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), Science and Innovation Audits (SIAs) are taking place across the UK. Their aims include pinpointing of areas of global competitive advantage, informing future science and innovation strategy, and the generation of data to support future regional investment proposals. 

The Life Sciences theme of the East of England SIA is being led by Dr Martino Picardo of Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, supported by a project team drawn from across the sector. The audit will be conducted across the public sector, academia and industry in Cambridge & Peterborough, Essex, Herts, Norfolk & Suffolk. The East of England has the second highest level of business expenditure on R&D in the UK and the highest per capita. Innovation thrives in this region, with its leading universities and many research organisations. 

Our audit hypothesis on how innovation in the region can thrive in the future, is captured below.   

The Hypthothesis  

The East of England is globally leading in areas of pharmaceuticals, medical biotechnology and drug delivery, with one of the strongest business clusters, and is already an attractor for companies and people working in this sector.  The future potential needs protecting and exploiting with two main strands: the ability to expand on current success to a larger geographical region; and the ability to grow into upcoming areas of medicine (such as personalisation, genomics and prevention) by increasing collaboration between the area’s different technologies and capabilities.

 The LifeSciences sub-themes

1.  Personalised medicine (drug discovery,development and diagnostics)

2.  Regenerative medicine (cell & genetherapies)
3. Genomics
4. Med tech
5. Food, health and microbiome

The East of England Life Sciences audit will make clear – through identification of current and potential relationships, mapping of available assets, analysis of existing and potential strengths, and articulation of future opportunities – the value to be unlocked through investment in this region. This will provide a basis for improving economic performance, identify opportunities for wider collaboration and investment, and catalyse new types of innovation activity. 

How can your organisation help? The audit is a large task – and we need your help to showcase the potential of the region. We will be gathering data and ideas from the East of England community via a series of meetings and consultations between now and the end of April. The first of these is at the Innovate UK in the East of England meeting on February 21 in Cambridge – so please come along.

In the meantime, if you have case studies, analyses or plans that you would like to share with us, or you would like to help with the audit, please get in touch via SIA@stevenagecatalyst.com. 

Thank you for your help.

Martino Picardo
Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst
Life Sciences Audit Lead