Making strides in challenging times – Q1 2016

It’s been a welcome reassurance for this inveterate UK cheerleader that we continue to navigate assorted speed bumps and are productively staying the course with our life science strategy.  In 2015, this UK sector continued its renaissance with £1.26 billion being raised on the UK stock market, the highest figure in more than a decade after the nuclear winter that started this decade.  A further £708 million was raised through private investment, nearly double over the previous year.

While some funds may have been shifted to healthcare as a defensive move, much of the action here is being driven by greater innovation and a growing movement in the academic sector to set up businesses and raise capital.  The quality of our news flow in this first quarter of 2016 is testament to this.  For example:

One of the key rationales for BELS is to encourage and enable additional momentum in the sector by reengaging with our life science diaspora who exert so much influence on global decision making.  The need for this was brought home to me starkly by an expat CEO (who shall remain anonymous) who shared feedback from a meeting in the US at which assorted advisers pondered potential locations for an overseas investment.  When the UK was brought up some in the room roundly trashed the UK for a host of reasons, many of them spurious and with a historical perspective rather than a current one.  The CEO’s instinct was to defend the UK but realised he could not do so because he really was not ‘up to speed’ with where things stood.

Our guess is that few of our expats are totally up to speed on current developments in the UK and certainly the feedback we got from last year’s Alumni Summit confirmed that impression.  Rest assured we will continue to rectify this situation and provide the community with timely intelligence and business rationales for why the UK should be on everyone’s radar these days!

Nigel Gaymond, BELS Founder & Chairman.

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