University of Cambridge launches roadmap to support future growth of life sciences cluster

Connect: Health Tech, the University of Cambridge Enterprise Zone, has launched a roadmap, ‘Creating a University Enterprise Zone for Cambridge across the life and physical sciences’, that examines the challenges faced in futureproofing and sustaining the growth of the life sciences cluster to maintain Cambridge as a global centre of excellence for health tech.

Cambridge Biomedical Campus  Credit: AstraZeneca

The roadmap sets out a clear plan to create a bridge between two of Cambridge’s historical strengths — biomedical research and cutting-edge technology — and bring these specialisms together to develop new treatments and health tech with real world applications. The solutions in the roadmap are scalable beyond Cambridge and also applicable to other disciplines and sectors.

Professor Andy Neely, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Enterprise and Business Relations at the University of Cambridge, said: “Cambridge has a deep and rich history of discovery and collaboration, and its interdisciplinary environment is the perfect testbed for new models of innovation in the life sciences. Our roadmap sets out a plan to do just that and will ensure that Cambridge remains a global leader in health technology into the next generation.

“This will require us to pioneer new ways of working and creating connections between different institutions across disciplines, be they academic or private enterprise. Such a model has been proven to work at a small scale – our proposal in the roadmap is to scale this up and apply it across the cluster and beyond.”

The University sits at the heart of the so-called ‘Cambridge cluster’, in which more than 5,300 knowledge-intensive firms employ more than 67,000 people and generate £18 billion in turnover. Cambridge has the highest number of patent applications per 100,000 residents in the UK.

The mission of the University is to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence. This includes cultivating and delivering excellent research and world-leading innovation and training of the next generation of highly skilled researchers and entrepreneurs, thereby underpinning the UK's economic growth and competitiveness.

Professor Tony Kouzarides, Director of the Milner Therapeutics Institute at the University of Cambridge, said: “The pandemic has clearly shown the importance of rapid innovation in healthcare. We are determined to harness the power of innovation, creativity and collaboration in Cambridge, and apply this towards solving some of the biggest medical challenges facing the country, and the world.”

The Connect: Health Tech roadmap is a result of consultation with major stakeholders and a series of road-mapping workshops with the Cambridge community. It aims to shape the future success of the Cambridge cluster in health tech through a supportive and dynamic ecosystem that aligns with the needs of the community.

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Image: Cambridge Biomedical Campus

Credit: AstraZeneca

Reproduced courtesy of the University of Cambridge

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