As 2020 draws to a close, ONE Life Sciences chair Prof Stephen Logan shares his thoughts on the year and looks ahead to 2021.
In 2020, COVID-19 disrupted health, wellbeing, the economy, research and innovation. Each of us faced personal and professional challenges with family life and work turned upside down. Current events mean the start of the new year will be difficult, but the vaccination rollout is underway, and we will come through this.
We can all agree that the life sciences sector has demonstrated adaptability and resilience. It has responded at a fast pace to multiple health challenges, most notably with the development of vaccines. The situation is fast-moving. The NHS and researchers are now dealing with a worrying COVID-19 variant.
The more positive news is that the sector’s profile is very high and continues to grow with record levels of investor interest. Life sciences is a health and economic priority. The work in businesses, labs and hospital wards is essential to national recovery and the post-COVID economy. An economy, we hope, driven by innovation and providing high-value jobs and new careers for young people.
There are exciting opportunities ahead. Our regional research strengths are global investment priorities. Biologics, medtech and digital health innovations will deliver new therapeutics, transform healthcare and produce better outcomes for patients.
The focus in the region on doubling the size of the company cluster is more crucial than ever. The partnership approach to sector development includes companies, the University of Aberdeen and Robert Gordon University, NHS, local and national government. We will deliver resources and new facilities to help you – the life sciences community – to achieve more faster. Aberdeen will be one of the most exciting locations in the UK to innovate and commercialise and BioHub will be the place for you to create and grow new life sciences businesses and scale established companies.
I encourage you to maintain your momentum and ambition, take up the support available to you and factor BioHub into your plans to turn research and ideas into new therapies, products and services.
I wish you all well on behalf of the boards of Opportunity North East (ONE) and BioAberdeen. Please recognise everything that you have achieved this year, continue to support each other, and stay safe.
Prof Stephen Logan,
Chair, ONE Life Sciences and BioAberdeen Ltd
Read the full December 2020 ONE Life Sciences sector update here.
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