We have had the pleasure to work with Kevin Moore of Business Therapies, who last year was awarded an OBE and this year received the Outstanding Contribution to the Growth of the Scottish Life Sciences at the Scottish Enterprise Life Sciences Awards. In chatting to him, his passion for both the life sciences and for Scotland is clearly evident.
Q: Can you give us a brief overview of the life sciences sector in Scotland?
A: The life sciences sector in Scotland is both exciting and challenging. Scotland aims to double its Gross Value Added from life sciences in the next 10 years and I see no reason why we should not achieve that growth. Of course we are going to have some major challenges such as getting suitable cornerstone funding in place, but that is what business is all about. We have some really exciting R&D being undertaken by our world-class academic researchers and what has really impressed me in the last 5 years or so is that they now understand the importance of converting it into commercial reality.
Q: Why do you think the life sciences have such a significant presence in Scotland?
A: We really do have world-class life science research in Scotland and it gives me great pleasure to see academia, Scottish companies (especially SMEs) and Scottish Enterprise working together to maximise the opportunities to achieve commercialisation. We can compete on the world stage by investing in high quality life science products by anchoring our businesses through our linkages. We are at long last understanding the importance of win-win.
Q: What areas within Scotland’s life sciences sector could be classed as genuine world-class?
A: The logical answer would be areas such as regenerative medicine and stem cells, but don’t underestimate the exciting work and opportunities being developed in medical devices and medical technologies including diagnostics. We have some phenomenal developments happening in this space.
Q: How do you see the life sciences performing in Scotland over the next few years?
A: I am more excited about what we can do in life sciences in Scotland than I have ever been in my 40 years in the industry – so much so, retirement is furthest from my mind as there is too much fun!!! The Scottish Government and Scottish Enterprise have really tried to be supportive of our industry but they have many calls on their resources. We need a fit for purpose financial infrastructure to support the growth of our companies because while our angel community has been great over the last 10 years, they really are not the ideal investors for many of our life sciences opportunities.
Q: If you were promoting Scotland to attract overseas life sciences companies, what would be your headline selling message?
A: Come to Scotland because we will work with you to achieve your business aspirations.