Life sciences partnership in the East calls on government to back a new global accelerator


Life Sciences partners from across the East are calling on the government to support the creation of a new global accelerator based in the Eastern region, for the UK to take an overarching and strategic approach to the development of life sciences innovation.

Building on the government’s ambition in the Life Sciences and wider Industrial Strategy, the region is calling on the government to champion a new global accelerator for Life Sciences innovation, and champion the East of England as an international leader for this sector. Click to view the brochure outlining the region’s life sciences offer.

Led by the Eastern Academic Health Science Network (Eastern AHSN) and the East of England Local Government Association (EELGA) guests at a parliamentary reception on Wednesday 28 February, were encouraged to support the call.

Matt Hancock, MP, Secretary of State for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport was joined by former Health Secretary, Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt to set out the region’s offer and to demonstrate and celebrate the significant life sciences opportunities and potential for economic growth in the eastern region.

Held on the anniversary of the discovery of the double helix by Francis Crick and James Watson, the event showcased the groundbreaking research in genomics and life sciences across the region, which has generated some of the greatest achievements in science and technology, for the UK and the world.

The East of England is ideally placed to host a new global accelerator for life sciences in the UK, to drive growth through advances in medtech and life sciences, and strengthen the UK’s economy as the country prepares for Brexit.

Rt Hon Matt Hancock MP (pictured) said: “The case for resources, powers and freedoms to be given to the east of England to drive forward growth ambitions is solid. We have seen some great steps forward in the last few years. In my field of tech we have seen some great progress, and anyone who drives around Cambridge will recognise the incredible improvements that have been made.  This is starting to spread out and percolate into the wider region.”

Rt Hon Patricia Hewitt, Independent Chair for the Norfolk and Waveney Sustainability and Transformation Plan, and former Secretary of State for Health, said: “Government and strategic partners are committed to working collaboratively with health and social care and industry sectors to develop an international hub for life sciences. The eastern region has the potential to transform the future delivery of healthcare, leading the world through innovation and cutting-edge technologies developed in its research and industry powerhouses.

“This is the right time to establish a new life sciences institute and global accelerator in the east of England to coordinate resources across the UK, and drive the delivery of the national industrial strategy. Working strategically, we can accelerate improvements to healthcare and lives around the world, with the talent and skills nurtured in this region.”

Innovations developed in the eastern region have been shown to improve health outcomes for the UK population and also generate economic growth for the country, attracting investment and partnerships. A new institution for life sciences would leverage the UK’s formidable expertise with some of the largest research centres in Europe, and spread the benefits of the region’s leadership nationwide.

Elisabeth Buggins, Chair of Eastern AHSN said: “Our region is awash with entrepreneurs and innovations from our communities are changing the world on a daily basis. With enhanced government resources, we can support greater collaboration and synergies in life sciences and medicine to provide a network to speed up development and spread of innovations across the UK. A new global accelerator for life sciences, hosted in the East of England, can grow the people and skills required to develop technologies that improve healthcare and wellbeing for all.”

The event was attended by MPs, council leaders, chief executives and business, health and academic leaders from across the region, many battling severe weather to support the call. These regional leaders will continue to work together to make the case for a global accelerator for life sciences, supporting development and greater investment in the region for the long term future.




Eastern AHSN (Academic Health Science Network) turn ideas into health impact by bringing together all partners in the health sector to develop and deliver innovative care.

Eastern AHSN