This is an exciting time for Life Sciences in Scotland according to Dave Tudor, the global head of API manufacturing and supply at GSK. The proud Scot is responsible for managing a complex global supply chain, which includes the company’s two manufacturing sites at Montrose and Irvine. These two sites play key roles supporting some of GSKs biggest respiratory and antibiotic brands. He has also recently become the co-chair of the Scottish Life Sciences Industry Leadership Group alongside Paul Wheelhouse, MSP, Minister for Business, Innovation and Energy.
With international travel a big part of Dave’s day job, he is well placed to reflect on how the outside world perceive the Life Sciences capabilities here in Scotland.
Dave said, “I feel very privileged to have such a challenging, yet rewarding job in such an exciting industry. Being a proud Scot, I never miss an opportunity on my travels around the world to communicate the many benefits that Scotland has in its favour”.
In Dave’s opinion, Scotland has a growing and diverse Life Sciences sector which is fully supported by the government, it has an abundance of talent, there is a collaborative environment with the NHS, Academics and Industry working together in partnership and it has a competitive fiscal and grant system. This makes Scotland an ideal location for companies to invest in and grow.
In the past few years Scotland has seen many positive developments, with a number of international companies looking to expand their presence here. Approximately £300m has been invested over the past three years across the sector, and GSK announced recently a further £110m expansion of their Montrose facility.
In 2016, new companies have located in Scotland, including ReproCELL, Dexcom and Janssen Pharmaceuticals, and Scotland attracted more international investment through acquisition, including Touch Bionics by Icelandic prosthetics specialist Ossϋr and Toshiba Medical systems by Canon. A number of companies have expanded internationally, including Biogelx, Omega Diagnostics, and BioOutSource, part of the Sartorius Stedim Biotech Group.
Scotland has enhanced its investment offering, attracting a major venture fund (Epidarex Capital) and supporting companies to engage with international private and corporate investors. With 30% of its portfolio in life sciences, the Scottish Investment Bank is the most active UK investor in this sector.
“In my experience, our reputation abroad is already very strong, but we must not become complacent and there is always more that we can do. Our Life Sciences sector in Scotland is broader than many people perceive and the level of innovation creation in Scotland is excellent”
Dave sees the launch of the refreshed Life Sciences Strategy for Scotland as being a critical milestone on our plan for success.
“The world has changed since our strategy was last refreshed back in 2011, and so the time was right for us take stock, reflect and realign our efforts towards our ambitious goals for the Life Sciences sector. I am delighted that we are launching this refreshed document at the dinner on 2nd February and I am really excited about seeing the next steps unfold as we set about delivering against the four strategic themes described in the strategy”
Continuing with the ‘building our reputation’ theme, Dave emphasises the importance of networking at next week’s Scottish Life Sciences Dinner.
“The annual awards dinner is a great opportunity for us all to engage with colleagues and guests whilst recognising some of the outstanding Life Sciences achievements of 2016. This is a showcase event that allows us to share all the great things we are doing in Scotland to support our Life Sciences ambition. Scotland has a rich heritage in Life Science innovation and commercialisation which continues to grow. The more we network and improve our connectivity, the more successful this sector will become”.