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All together now: Improving cross-sector collaboration in the UK biomedical industry

This report looks at how cross-sector collaboration can help strengthen the UK biomedical science industry.

This report looks at how cross-sector collaboration can help strengthen the UK biomedical science industry.

Key findings:

  • The UK has significant assets in the NHS, research universities, large medical charities, pharmaceutical companies, and clusters of smaller companies. These assets deliver more by being better connected. 
  • Collaboration allows a better use of resources, and improves the capacity for innovation.
  • The pharmaceutical industry is undergoing a shift, transitioning from large internal R&D facilities to more external collaborations and partnerships. 
  • Recognising the importance of collaboration to the industry and to innovation will mean changing the funding, incentives and career structures of the UK biomedical sector.

The biomedical science sector is rapidly growing, and a source of economic growth for the UK: it employs 143,000 people and generates over £30 billion in turnover. Encompassing pharmaceuticals, medical technology and medical biotechnology, it is a high-tech and highly innovative sector, closely linked to the research excellence of UK universities.

 

It is an industry where the UK is objectively one of the world leaders, but our role is not secure. As pharmaceutical companies change their R&D strategies to a new, more outsourced model, and other countries improve their scientific infrastructure, we need to change to keep up. However, there is an opportunity to raise our game by building better connections between the assets we already have.

 

This report presents new data on the impact of collaborative working, showing that biomedical academic papers that are co-published with industry have greater citation impact than purely academic papers.

 

Author:

Louise Marston

Authors

Louise Marston

Louise Marston

Louise Marston

Director of Innovation Policy and Futures

Louise was Director of Innovation Policy and Futures within the Policy and Research team. She managed Nesta's work on innovation policy and technology futures. She previously worked ...

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