Together, Nigel Gaymond and Cynthia Clark create an experienced and energetic team with the industry knowledge, skills and contacts to make BELS a great success. They are dedicated to working with members of the BELS community to build a truly influential and productive organisation that accelerates progress in the sector.
“I was fortunate to be able to participate in the original BELS group, based in Cambridge, MA, over the course of several years. This served as an excellent means to network with UK expat Biotech leaders and to keep up to date with established and emerging biotechs from the UK. The discussions at such BELS events were invariably lively, informative and fun…… Nigel’s BELS Xmas party jokes are legendary and underlined the importance of his somewhat larger-than-life personality in making BELS a reality and a forum that everyone eagerly attended.” Dr Ronald Farquhar, Biotech Investor – Morningside, Newton, Massachusetts, USA
Nigel supports various initiatives that foster innovation to benefit industry, academia, patients and UK plc. His work with UK expats dates back to the 1990s when he developed a database of Scottish expats and ran events to initiate Scottish expat engagement, an effort that grew into today’s highly successful GlobalScot network. He has become a recognised expert in harnessing the valuable talents of British diaspora and over many years has shared his knowledge generously to benefit academic researchers, writers, consultants and government programmes. Today he leads British Expats in Life Sciences (BELS), a network of global health and life science leaders he and his partner founded in the US in 2001 and relaunched in the UK in 2015. BELS works to strengthen connections with highly-accomplished expats and others who were educated in the UK in order to mutually benefit the expats and their organisations, and the health and life science sector in the UK and globally.
In addition to nurturing BELS, he advises established and emerging organisations across the global health and life sciences on corporate and business development, articulating vision and strategy, charting new directions, identifying market driven opportunities, stimulating and supporting innovation, driving ideas and facilitating change. Most recently, he advised a Pittsburgh-based personalised-medicine company, facilitating their participation in the Genomics England 100k Genomes Project and serving as their representative on the GENE Consortium.
Early in his career, Nigel worked in the diplomatic service at the British Consulate in Boston where he oversaw the commercial section and served as the UK’s lead in the USA for biotechnology. He then founded his US-based consulting practice, Gaymond International, and for 17 years advised industry, academic, and government organisations spanning biopharmaceuticals, diagnostics, medical devices and informatics – in the US, Europe and parts of Asia.
After 25 years in the US, Nigel returned home to the UK in 2010 to head the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) where he assimilated into the UK life sciences scene and shored up the BIA’s reputation, relevance, membership and finances. He expanded BIA member benefits to include a new purchasing programme that taps the global purchasing power of BIO in the US; initiated a series of networking meetings to expand the BIA’s presence beyond London and to build its reputation throughout the UK; moved the offices to sit closer to the heart of government in central London and to strengthen the BIA’s lobbying presence; and strengthened strategic relationships with similar organisations in other parts of the world, including the US, Canada, Australia, New Zealand and India.
Cynthia’s work with British expats dates back to 2000 with the original founding of BELS and delivery of its programme over the next five years. Today, she steers the operations, planning and communications for BELS as the organisation is re-launched in the UK to spark international collaboration that speeds progress in the health and life sciences.
Cynthia’s experience in strategic marketing and communications crosses corporate, business-to-business, consumer and public organisations. Before shifting to the life sciences sector, she held senior marketing management positions at institutional and retail investment firms in the US, including Putnam Investments, Colonial Mutual Funds (subsequently Columbia Funds/Bank of America), and The Boston Company (subsequently Bank of New York/Mellon). In the financial services sector, she played a role in the movement that shifted people from being traditional savers to being smart personal investors. Today there is a parallel need to shift people from viewing healthcare as something that’s done to them as passive patients and more towards something patients do for themselves as active participants with greater accountability. The communications challenges involve democratising the information in personal health records, focusing on prevention, and encouraging people to contribute their health data to improve care and fuel medical research as concerned and participatory citizens. To contribute toward this movement, Cynthia ran Patients4Data, a two-year campaign highlighting the benefits of using patient data to improve healthcare and fuel medical research. As part of this work, she sat on the care.data Strategic Oversight Board, which worked to ensure that the initiative’s benefits were clearly communicated and the risks were appropriately mitigated.