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The forefront of scientific & healthcare discovery

3 March 2015

In 1665 Robert Hook discovered cell biology when he first described the microscopic components within cork, in 1796 Edward Jenner discovered vaccines, Frederick Sanger discovered DNA sequencing in 1977, in 1996 Ian Wilmut & Keith Campbell proved the theory of Nuclear Transfer with the cloning of Dolly the sheep and the list goes on. With only one percent of the world's population the UK has been at the forefront of scientific & healthcare discovery for over 350 years and continues to punch above its weight.

With the future of our economy dependent on our continued excellence in scientific discovery, along with high-tech manufacturing and engineering, why is it that we are losing so many of our brightest minds along with their ideas and companies to the US?

Despite having four of the top ten universities in the world, a major financial centre and a history of outstanding medical research, investors in healthcare and life sciences still have a strong focus on the US. Whilst there are good reasons for this, mostly down to its size, a bigger market, more listed companies and its established investor environment, that is comfortable with risk and regularly make speculative investments with the potential for massive profits. The UK is still one of the world leaders in the development of cutting edge healthcare technology & therapies along with the commercial viability. So why is it that more and more of these companies feel the need to take their ideas to the US to make the next step in their development? We need to find a way to develop an investment environment that enables the UK to hold onto its brightest minds and encourage them to develop and flourish for the benefit of everyone.  

Nick Behan, Consultant

Nick is a Consultant in the Life Sciences practice, read Nick's profile


Categories: Life Sciences

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