It was another great turnout for BioFocus 2022, with more than 100 delegates attending the one-day event, bringing together industry, academia, and experts within the field of life sciences to network, engage and collaborate.
The latest technologies, innovations, key sector initiatives and funding opportunities provided the framework of the conference, with panel discussions focusing on topics ranging from diagnostics to healthy ageing to new therapies and addressing the skills gap.
Key takeaways from the panel sessions included the impact of Brexit on life sciences companies and academia and identifying how to move forward, meeting the demands of the sector through lab and office space provision, investing in skills to promote the industry and the importance of collaboration across the north.
The first keynote speaker of the day, the Associate Director for Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust, Andrea Burroughs, talked about the role of the Trust in the North East health and life science ecosystem, with strengths in drug discovery, development services companies and medtech, a highly skilled workforce, investment and supporting growth, and excellence, both in clinical care and research.
The next and final keynote was delivered by Sir John Burn, Chairman of Newcastle Hospitals NHS Trust and Vice Chair of QuantuMDx. He discussed the challenges of healthcare entrepreneurship and innovation, commenting on the need for whole pathway engagement whilst tackling system complexities. His takeaways included spotting gaps in care, securing intellectual property, anticipating the need for regulatory approval and expecting resistance to change within organisations, as well as the need for teams to work together in co-development.
Stella James, Executive Director of Business Development at Bionow, commented: “It was great to see so many delegates from industry and academia coming together to share ideas and network in person. The panel discussions and speakers really engaged the room and the ideas being presented really showcased the spirit of innovation that is so important in the life sciences sector.”