Swansea University plays seriously in Life Sciences

December 11, 2018

Tony Sedgwick PhD FRCPath is an experienced entrepreneurial executive. He has held various senior positions in research and development becoming worldwide head of clinical operations for Roche.

His product successes have been many including Invirase and Tamiflu which have had significant impact both medically and commercially.

Tony has been chief executive officer of four biotechnology companies with two successful exits. He has also been chairman of several UK and European therapeutic and MedTech companies.

During the past few years Tony has specialised in trusted advisory roles for CEOs and R&D heads. He has a deep belief that innovation is key and in today’s market differentiation will lead to success.

As we are in the conference season with the end of 2017 and the beginning of 2018 the life science sector is reflecting on what is it today and what should it be tomorrow.

The Bell Report last year tried to set out a number of areas where the UK should focus to try and make the sector finally deliver. The history of the sector has been one of companies spinning out  of the established universities but many companies being sold off before real establishment. The result is although the figures may differ it feels like the UK life science sector is not really growing up but perpetually showing great promise.

One of the significant changes over the past few years has been the arrival of new universities on the spin out scene. One of these universities that has been quietly beavering away is Swansea.

People in London,Cambridge and Oxford  look for new activities in life science towards Alderney Park and perhaps the Glasgow, Edinburgh scene. Few people are looking west to Swansea.

But Swansea is doing very special things.

Firstly it has attracted and is attracting talented academics and scientists. The people they are attracting seem more flexible and modern in their outlook than some of the more established universities.

Swansea University has the right atmosphere for creativity and wants to be a player in the sector.  Key components are being built in this ecosystem  such as money and  know-how. We have seen the know-how demonstrated through the Institute of Life Sciences (ILS), ILS2, Data Science, Swansea Innovations. The funding comes from various sources such as the Swansea University Innovation Fund (SUIF) and most recently through the support of the unique AgorIP project.

Agor in Welsh means open and that is the feeling of the fund and the scientists in Swansea.

An open working environment where flexibility and creativity flourish. Experienced  people are being attracted by the Swansea scene and indeed to the region which will I am sure will become more vibrant in the next months and years as we see the delivery of the Swansea Bay City Region City Deal which features a life science strand and the creation of the Llanelli Life Science and Wellness Village in Carmarthenshire. With buzzing leadership and real vision – Swansea is most definitely on the map.

Watch this space…

To read more blogs by Tony Sedgewick visit www.thoughtdisruptor.com