Britain’s deputy high commissioner in Ahmedabad has called on UK and Indian companies in the life sciences sector to come together and take advantage of the “fantastic opportunities” now available.
Speaking at the National Food and Pharma Summit 2017 in Ahmedabad last month, Geoff Wain highlighted the importance of the industry to Britain’s economy and the available opportunities for doing business with the UK. The life sciences sector is currently the third-largest contributor to economic growth in the UK, turning over £56bn in 2016. It also accounts for more than 200,000 jobs.
In his address to the summit, Mr Wain spoke of the strong ties already established, as well as the range of opportunities available to Indian businesses.
He said: “With a world-renowned research base, top universities and a talented workforce, technology thrives in Britain. The UK and India have been working together for a very long time to develop novel drugs and innovative manufacturing processes.
“We have secured some excellent successes of Indian companies collaborating with UK companies in areas of diabetes treatment, oncology, anti-microbial resistance and vaccines. The recent memorandum of understanding between the UK Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency and Indian regulators, and the close relationship between the UK’s National Institute for Clinical Excellence with India are clear indicators that India recognises the UK as an ideal partner of choice to help in moving up the value chain in drug development.”
Mr Wain said a considerable number of Indian pharmaceutical companies have already invested in the UK and are expanding their overseas business through their UK offices – firms including Intas Pharmaceuticals, Dishman, Cadila, Torrent, Cipla and Piramal.
Centres of excellence have been established to help support manufacturing and innovation in the UK, and a variety of funding schemes are already in place.
He added: “There are significant India-specific funding opportunities such as the Newton Bhabha Fund and the India-UK Collaborative Industrial Research and Development Programme, which is part of the UK’s £375m Newton Fund to support science and innovation partnerships between the UK and emerging countries. In India the fund is worth £50m over five years and is supported by the UK and Indian governments through a formal ministerial agreement.”
Mr Wain said events such as the National Food and Pharma Summit provide valuable opportunities to meet like-minded people and to network with potential partners or clients. He also highlighted upcoming events, including Innovate 2017, which is set to take place at Birmingham’s NEC in November. According to the deputy high commissioner, there are plans to bring a large business delegation from the UK to participate in Indian Pharma 2018, due to take place next February in Bangalore, and March’s Medical Fair India in Mumbai.
He added: “Now is a fantastic opportunity for the UK and Indian companies to collaborate on a wealth of projects and opportunities to the benefit of both our economies and to our citizens, through innovative and ground-breaking developments in the life sciences sector.”