Leading organisations forge partnership to accelerate growth of thriving life sciences sector

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The Life Sciences Hub Wales and Institute of Life Science at Swansea University sign a Memorandum of Understanding to strengthen Wales’ vibrant life sciences eco-system.

Two leading organisations have signed a Memorandum of Understanding (MOU) to foster business growth and innovation in one of Wales’ leading sectors.  

Life Sciences Hub MoUThe official partnership between Swansea University Medical School’s research facility, Institute of Life Science (ILS), and Life Sciences Hub Wales, the nerve centre of the Welsh life sciences eco-system, aims to strengthen support available for life sciences businesses by stimulating commercial collaboration and nurturing interdisciplinary research and development. 

By offering tenants a desk at each base, organisations will work together to signpost life sciences businesses and entrepreneurs to the right facilities and opportunities. This will give ambitious firms access to ILS’s advanced research and development infrastructure including the laboratories. Conversely, the Life Sciences Hub Wales will offer companies a gateway to expert professional advice and new revenue streams including its partnership with the £100m Life Sciences Investment Fund and team of board members including renowned biotechnology entrepreneur Sir Chris Evans. 

The collaboration will also give companies an opportunity to network, innovate and collaborate with both partners’ existing tenants, ranging from large pharmaceutical companies to solo start-ups. 

Start-up Glyconics Ltd is one such company that has benefited from collaborative opportunities as a result of the partnership between the Life Sciences Hub Wales and ILS. Innovative medical diagnostics company Glyconics is a spin-out from Swansea University, and has been developed with support from the ILS’s Enterprise and Innovation Team.

The company is currently developing a diagnostic device utilising infrared technology for detecting chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD), and were showcased earlier this year at the Life Sciences Hub Technology Day. COPD is a condition that is estimated to affect six million people in the UK and is responsible for over 25,000 deaths annually. 

Dr Nanette Bartram, Project Director at Glyconics, said: “Partnerships like these are a perfect way for businesses like us to collaborate with other companies and to collectively strengthen the life sciences eco-system in Wales.”  

Professor Marc Clement, Chief Executive of the Institute of Life Science said: “This partnership will help Wales to further harness its global reputation for best practice, innovation and commercial prowess. By formally collaborating with Life Sciences Hub Wales, we are not just making a desk available for tenants in Swansea and Cardiff, we’re actually giving aspiring companies increased access to expertise and opportunities that will help them grow, develop and play a role in the future of the sector.” 

Dr Ian Barwick, Chief Operating Officer at Life Sciences Hub Wales added: “The Institute of Life Sciences ethos mirrors ours in terms of its commitment to stimulating innovation, research and growth in the life sciences sector for the benefit of human health and the economy. 

“Wales has a vibrant eco-system and is at the global forefront of scientific development. We’ve seen for ourselves that in addition to start-ups, globally recognised life sciences companies wish to grow their businesses here, and it’s wonderful to have a cohesive culture that encourages companies to develop on a large scale.

"We’re really proud to be working with the Institute of Life Science and look forward to successfully nurturing the growth of ambitious businesses that can benefit from the facilities and wide pool of expertise available at each base. We’re looking forward to witnessing the birth of technology and medicines that we hope will result from the partnership."  

Pictured above, left to right, are Professor Marc Clement, Chief Executive of the Institute of Life Science at Swansea University Medical School; Dr Paul Lewis, Chief Scientific Officer at Glyconics and Associate Professor at Swansea University Medical School; and Dr Ian Barwick, Chief Operating Officer at Life Sciences Hub Wales.