Brave new world – Are we ready for the next phase of growth in biobusiness?


"The bio sector needs new thinking and skills if we are to stay ahead," says Miranda Weston-Smith, biobusiness consultant and founder of BioBeat.


The UK has a vibrant life sciences ecosystem, with universities, the NHS and medical research charities collaborating with companies big and small on an unprecedented scale.
- Louise Wood, Department of Health

Those working in the brave new world of bio and looking for inspiration to navigate the challenges and competition in a rapidly changing sector can now download a special report –’50 Movers and Shakers in Biobusiness 2014’. It identifies female experienced leaders and rising stars who are challenging the status quo through their inspirational work in research, clinical, corporate, finance and advisory roles.

Responding to global health challenges, the diversity of needs, the ever-increasing specialisation of technologies, working in virtual teams, and the shake-up of the bio- pharma industry all call out for fresh routes to success. There’s much to learn from female leaders and a lot to learn too from the female rising stars who are integrating IT and bio as never before, adept with social media, and fleet of foot with flexibility in roles.   

“They are crucially important for the next phase of growth of the life sciences industry, and our potential in the UK.  The sector needs new thinking and skills if we are going to stay ahead – and adapt bio innovation for human benefit,” says Miranda Weston-Smith, BioBeat founder.

The report, which was developed by BioBeat, a partnership between Miranda Weston-Smith and Cambridge Judge Business School’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL) and the Innovation Forum, was published on Monday (27th October). BioBeat aims to inspire the next wave of bio entrepreneurs and innovators. Sponsored by Horton Ruston Poole, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, MedImmune and Pfizer, the report celebrates what women working in biobusiness have brought to the industry but also highlights the ways they can transform the industry going forward.

'It’s a more competitive world and we will win by being more collaborative. Are we ready?' This was debated by around 140 attendees at the BioBeat14: 50 Movers and Shakers event at St Catharine’s College, Cambridge last week.   For bio entrepreneurs, the debate and networking offered unparalleled access to the leaders, to discuss their ideas; to find out what’s in, what’s out, and the next big things.

Louise Wood, Department of Health chaired the debate on ‘Leading in a Collaborative World’ with panellists, Maina Bhaman, Imperial Innovations plc, Ruth McKernan, Pfizer, Carina Namih, HelixNano and Carmel Reilly, NeurocentRx Pharma.   The panel explored leadership in funding, teams operations and business models.

The UK has a vibrant life sciences ecosystem, with universities, the NHS and medical research charities collaborating with companies big and small on an unprecedented scale. Teasing out the tensions between collaboration and competition is a critical precursor to ensuring organisations are ready culturally and structurally for collaboration. A fresh take on leadership styles, multi-disciplinary working and attitudes to risk are fundamental to enabling this" said Chair, Louise Wood.

The ’50 Movers and Shakers in Biobusiness 2014’ report can be downloaded at

Further information about BioBeat can be found at


BioBeat14 was sponsored by Horton Ruston Poole, Johnson & Johnson Innovation, MedImmune and Pfizer. The event was also supported by the Innovation Forum, Cambridge Innovation Capital, One Nucleus and Blendology.

50 Movers and Shakers:

  • Sabine Bahn, Professor of Neurotechnology and Director, Cambridge Centre for Neuropsychiatric Research, University of Cambridge
  • Nicola Baker-Munton, Founder and CEO, StratagemIPM
  • Julie Barnes, CEO, Abcodia
  • Maina Bhaman, Director Healthcare Ventures, Imperial Innovations plc
  • Kate Bingham, Managing Partner, SV Life Sciences
  • Caroline Briggs, Founder and Managing Director, Amici Procurement Solutions
  • Ann Connolly, Senior Director New Ventures, Johnson + Johnson Innovation
  • Mary Anne Cordeiro, Non-Executive Director, Albion Technology & General VCT and private investor
  • Lily Cortese, Director, Business Operations & Project Management, Johnson + Johnson Innovation
  • Margaret Anne Craig, Founder and CEO, Clyde Biosciences
  • Jane Dancer, CBO, F-star
  • Professor Dame Kay Davies CBE FRS, Director of MRC Functional Genomics Unit, University of Oxford and Deputy Chair, Wellcome Trust
  • Professor Dame Sally Davies FRS, Chief Medical Officer for UK
  • Barbara Domayne-Hayman, CBO, Autifony Therapeutics and Entrepreneur-in-Residence, Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst
  • Heather Fairhead, CEO, Phico Therapeutics
  • Julia Fan Li, Director, Global Health Investment Fund
  • Harriet Fear, CEO, One Nucleus and British Business Ambassador
  • Sue Foden, Portfolio Non-Executive Director
  • Rowan Gardner, Co-Founder and Chair, Biolauncher, Co-Founder, RowAnalytics
  • Professor Judith Hall OBE, Head of Department, Anaesthetics, Intensive Care and Pain Medicine, Cardiff University
  • Deborah Harland, SR One
  • Theodora Harold, CFO, PsiOxus Therapeutics
  • Karen Hodgkin, Senior Vice-President, Clinical Operations, Cell Medica
  • Jackie Hunter CBE, CEO, Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council
  • Anne Hyland, CFO, BBI Diagnostics Group
  • Allison Jeynes-Ellis, CEO, Avillion LLP
  • Helen Lee, Director of Research, Department of Haematology, University of Cambridge and Founder, Diagnostics for the Real World
  • Melanie Lee CBE, CEO, NightstaRx, Founder and Director, Think10
  • Susan Lowther, CFO, Ixico plc
  • Dame Louise Makin, CEO, BTG plc
  • Fiona Marshall, Founder and CSO, Heptares Therapeutics
  • Ruth McKernan CBE, Senior Vice President, Pfizer, CSO, Pfizer Neusentis
  • Professor Helen McShane, Nuffield Department of Medicine, University of Oxford
  • Carina Namih, CEO and Co-Founder, HelixNano
  • Deborah O’Neil, Founder, CEO and CSO, NovaBiotics
  • Fiona Nielsen, Founder and CEO, DNAdigest
  • Jane Osbourn, VP Research and Development, MedImmune, Cambridge
  • Cally Palmer CBE, CEO, Royal Marsden NHS Foundation Trust
  • Cathrin Petty, Co-Head EMEA Healthcare Investment Banking, JP Morgan
  • Denise Pollard-Knight, Managing Partner, Phase4 Partners
  • Carmel Reilly, CEO and Co-Founder, NeurocentRx Pharma
  • Ruth Roberts, Global Head of Regulatory Safety, AstraZeneca
  • Elizabeth Roper, Partner, Epidarex Capital
  • Susan Searle, Portfolio Non-Executive Director
  • Nicole Soranzo, Group Leader, Wellcome Trust Sanger Institute
  • Professor Dame Janet Thornton CBE FRS, Professor and Director, European Bioinformatics Institute
  • Liisa Van Vliet, Founder and CEO, Floceleries
  • Elaine Warburton, CEO and Co-Founder, QuantuMDx Group
  • Louise Wood, Deputy Director/Head of Research Infrastructure and Growth, Department of Health
  • Jing Zhang, Co-Founder and Director of Operations, Aqdot


Miranda Weston-Smith founded BioBeat in 2012 to inspire the next wave of bio entrepreneurs and leaders. This not-for-profit programme is run in partnership with the University of Cambridge Judge Business School’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning and the Innovation Forum.

In addition, Miranda provides practical business development services for healthcare and biotech. She supports clients with marketing, new venture development and technology transfer expertise offering a cost-effective way to boost a company's growth. To find out more about Miranda visit her website »

Cambridge Judge Business School’s Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning

The Centre for Entrepreneurial Learning (CfEL) at Cambridge Judge Business School aims to spread the spirit of enterprise to both the University of Cambridge community and to wider national and international audiences through the creation and delivery of a range of educational activities that inspire and build skills in the practise of Entrepreneurship. One of CfEL's key teaching values is that the best people to teach entrepreneurs are entrepreneurs. This philosophy has led to the Centre collaborating with a network of over 300 experienced entrepreneurs, innovators and other practitioners to provide relevant, credible and practical training.

The Centre has developed an enviable track record in the field of entrepreneurship education with a number of flagship programmes designed to provide skills for students, graduates, researchers and aspiring entrepreneurs from different backgrounds and at different stages of the entrepreneurial journey. These programmes are Enterprise Tuesday, ETECH Projects, Ignite, Enterprisers and the Postgraduate Diploma in Entrepreneurship.

Tel: 01223 766900; Email: ; Web:

Innovation Forum

The Innovation Forum (IF) ( was set up by young researchers (PhD students and postdocs) at the University of Cambridge in 2012, to connect grassroots scientists with industry, investment and policy leaders. The IF executive committee consists of 20 young researchers and industry professionals in Cambridge, and 30 committee members globally at the different university branches.

IF’s main aim is to forward inventions, developed by top scientists & engineers at leading institutes, towards industry, investors and policy makers. Access to a global network of young researchers allows IF to break traditional silos between disciplines and within science fields, which can result in disruptive technologies and new collaborations. IF aims to be the accelerator for high-tech startups globally and attract the world’s leading startups to relocate to Cambridge and the Golden Triangle (Cambridge-London-Oxford).

The strong network at the University of Cambridge allow IF to have extensive access to scientists at a wide range of Departments and Institutes. Additionally IF has effectively set up different university branches in: Oxford, London (UCL, KCL and Imperial), Edinburgh, Copenhagen, Barcelona, Hong Kong and Tokyo.

Find out more via the web site at

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