Cardiff Breakfast Club 25th June – Prof Chris McGuigan, Life Sciences Hub

Posted: June 27, 2014 in Cardiff Breakfast Club
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Breakfast ClubIt was our last Breakfast Club of the season and we were joined by Professor Chris McGuigan, Chairman of the new Welsh Government Life Science Hub. As well as holding the role of Chairman of the Life Sciences Research Network, Chris is also a Professor of Medicinal Chemistry at Cardiff University, and the co-inventor of three new drug candidates that have entered clinical trials.

Chris was keen to express that the Hub, which is due to open on 17th July, is not a Lab but a business hub. With open-plan working space for 60 people, a board room, meeting rooms and auditorium for 75 people, the Hub is a state-of-the-art facility of which ‘there is nothing quite like it anywhere in the world’. The Hub is currently 40% full, with 40 members already signed up, and Chris believes that this number will increase to 50% occupancy by the opening in July.

Prof Chris McGuigan, Life Sciences Hub

Prof Chris McGuigan, Life Sciences Hub

Chris believes that the Hub is a unique space which can ‘connect and concentrate the Life Sciences in Wales,’ bringing together businesses and academia to stimulate the research and growth of the Life Sciences. Another significant aim of the Hub is to attract investment for the Life Sciences in Wales and ‘bring in money from over the Severn Bridge’. Therefore after looking at several other sites, Chris explained that Cardiff Bay was ultimately felt to be the best location for the Hub.

Professor McGuigan also discussed his position as Chairman of the Life Sciences Research Network. With £7.3m funding from the Welsh Government’s Ser Cymru programme, the Network will fund 100 research projects in Wales. Since its launch in September, the Life Sciences Panel has had 183 bids for project funding, dispelling any fears that there was not high demand for life sciences projects in Wales. Through working in partnership with universities across the country, the Network has currently funded 39 of those projects, of which 70% are Cardiff-based. The Network has also secured an impressive £1m in matchfunding for these projects.

Chris expressed his deep gratitude to the Minister for Economy, Science and Transport, Edwina Hart for the significant role she has played in pushing forward funding and support for the Life Sciences Hub and for her ‘passion for supporting business in Wales’.With significant support such as this, Chris believes ‘there has never been a better time to do a life sciences business in Wales’ and is looking forward to seeing what progress in Life Sciences can be achieved through the Hub and the work of the Life Sciences Network over the coming year.

Dates and speakers for the autumn will be announced soon. For further information and booking details, please contact eira@petersenspr.com or phone 02920 549597.

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