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Odgers Interim, Odgers Berndtson & AMRC Research Charity Dinner: Sir John Bell delivers keynote speech

30 November 2017

We partnered with the Association of Medical Research (AMRC) to organise an opportunity for charity leaders to discuss the implications of the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy Report for not-for-profit organisations.

Our keynote speaker for the evening was Sir John Bell, Chair of the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy Board who was commissioned by government to produce the Industrial Strategy report, which was published on the 30th August this year.

Sir John Bell is Regius Professor of Medicine at Oxford University, and Chairman of the Office for the Strategic Coordination of Health Research.

Between 2006-2011, he served as President of the Academy of Medical Sciences and in the latter year, was appointed a UK Life Sciences Champion by the Prime Minister. Prior to that, he established the Wellcome Trust Centre for Human Genetics.

The Life Sciences Industrial Strategy sought to identify and offer recommendations for the key challenges facing the sector, across five key themes: science, growth, NHS, data and skills. In terms of the role of charities, Bell emphasised that charities are crucial partners within the sector, and recommended the government increase contributions to the Charity Research Support Fund (CRSF).

The report also called for the creation of national registries for therapy-area-specific data across the UK, which should be aligned with the relevant charity. Further to this, it recommended the establishment of a Health Advanced Research Programme, to undertake large research infrastructure projects – to be funded by a coalition involving charity partners.

In his speech, Sir John Bell began by examining the impact of the Industrial Strategy for medical research and the charity sector.

After this, there was a lively discussion, focusing on data registries and the creation of a data hub. Attendees were keen to highlight that, in general, patients are far more willing for their medical data to be available to charities, rather than the NHS.

Also of great interest to attendees was the topic of investment, and the government’s responsibility to support medical research in the future.

In total, 18 chief executives from various organisations including the British Heart Foundation, British Lung Foundation and Autistica attended the event.

Louise Beales, Head of the Charities practice at Odgers Interim, comments: “The dinner was a timely opportunity to bring together charity leaders to discuss the most pressing issues affecting the medical research sector and listen to Sir John Bell talk openly about his insights and recommendations.

“It’s clear that the sector will benefit from an increasingly joined-up approach. Whilst enjoying an informal setting, our guests took part in the wider debate on the implications of data sharing, impact of increased funding and the benefits of closer working. The feedback we received from attendees was excellent, and I’m looking forward to working with the AMRC in future to organise more informative events.”

For more information, please contact Louise Beales.


Categories: Charities

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