The Times and Sunday Times Scotland Life Sciences Summit 2024 comes to Aberdeen


THE Times and The Sunday Times Scotland have announced the launch of the 2024 Life Sciences Summit, in partnership with Opportunity North East (ONE), on Wednesday 20th March.

The event is taking place in-person at the King’s College Centre at the University of Aberdeen – a region of critical importance to the industry, with the North-East of Scotland hosting a distinct cluster of clinical-stage biotech companies.

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With the UK’s life sciences sector tackling some of the biggest global health challenges through scientific creativity and commercial innovation, this summit brings together leaders and experts from a dynamic, high-value industry, to explore innovation, investment and entrepreneurial growth, highlighting significant Scottish and UK developments.

The summit will be keeping a finger on the pulse of current trends in biotech, medtech and health tech, with a trained eye on the horizon for future growth and scaling-up. We’ll be asking how we can unlock the power of genetic data, scanning the future of AI and its application in biotech, and how venture capitalists make their choices in Life Science investment, and will hear from leading industry names, including Indro Mukerjee, CEO of Innovate UK, Rebecca Andersen, Head of Commercial and Communications, TauRx Pharmaceuticals and Clare Terlouw, Head of LifeArc Ventures.

Tom Whipple, Science Editor of The Times, will open the day’s proceedings before the summit begins with a series of panel discussions, keynote addresses and fireside chats.

Tom commented: “This conference promises to showcase some of the most exciting life sciences companies not merely in the North West, but in the UK as a whole. It is a reminder of the vibrancy of the sector in this part of Scotland, as well as being an event that helps everyone make connections and learn from each other.”

The summit’s agenda will focus on cutting-edge approaches to drug discovery with artificial intelligence experts and discuss the future of life sciences with leading industry commentators, looking at how technological advancement can improve lives whilst delivering robust economic growth. Beginning with Indro Mukerjee, CEO of Innovate UK, delivering his keynote address, the day will advance with a discussion between Dr Poonam Malik and Dr Stuart Hannah, Chair and CEO of Microplate DX respectively, and Ben Carter of Deepbridge Capital, on their investee-investor relationship. They will share how their recent £2.5 million seed funding round has given them a springboard to clinical trials to launch commercially across Europe and explore entry into the US market.

Following this, the conversation will accelerate towards investment, with a panel discussion from leading UK life sciences investors on where they see future growth sprouting for ambitious entrepreneurs. After a brief networking break, the dialogue will restart with a view towards commercialisation, and how start-up founders can make a viable product in a competitive global sector. Asking difficult yet essential questions – such as, how the public and private sectors can collaborate to share risk through commercialisation, this panel session will shine a light into how to get a product to market in the industry.

After lunch, discourse will filter through a range of case studies and keynote addresses, before moving on to a panel called “Accelerating drug discovery with the power of artificial intelligence”, utilising a range of industry experts to understand how the exciting and rapidly evolving application of AI and machine learning are transforming drug discovery. The day’s final session, “What does the future hold for Scottish life sciences?”, will look towards the growth of a sustainable, innovation-led economy, asking why and how Scottish talent, research and innovation are on track to tackle some of the world’s biggest healthcare challenges. This expert dialogue will offer a roadmap through the challenges and opportunities ahead for future life sciences entrepreneurs in Scotland and the UK.

The day will close with a drinks reception, giving guests the chance to network.

Jennifer Craw, Chief Executive, ONE, commented:

“The UK is a global force in life sciences. The industry is one of the economy’s most dynamic and innovative sectors. In north east Scotland, we have a distinctive cluster of biotechs developing solutions for global health challenges. ONE and its partners are investing in building a best-in-class entrepreneurial ecosystem to support the next generation of spinout, start-up, scaling, and inward investing life sciences businesses, with ONE BioHub as the focal point for realising the regional growth ambition.

The summit will bring together leading entrepreneurs, experts, and investors to explore industry innovation, commercialisation and growth. While showcasing the strength of the regional cluster and the unique opportunities to create and grow high-value businesses in the Aberdeen city region.”

For more information about the event and to register, go to:

Speaker List:

  • –  Dr Abdo Alnabulsi, Co-founder & CEO, Epitogenx
  • –  Rebecca Andersen, Head of Commercial and Communications, TauRx Pharmaceuticals
  • –  Gillian Bowditch, Commentator, The Sunday Times Scotland, Chair, The British Association of Women Entrepreneurs (BAWE)
  • –  Ben Carter, Investment Manager, Life Sciences, Deepbridge Capital
  • –  Michael Carter, Head of Drug Discovery, Kvantify
  • –  Jennifer Craw, Chief Executive, Opportunity North East (ONE)
  • –  Prof Mirela Delibegovic, FRSE, Director, Aberdeen Cardiovascular and Diabetes Centre
  • –  Rob Grundy, CEO, Intellomx
  • –  Dr Stuart Hannah, CEO, Microplate DX
  • –  Ishani Malhotra, CEO, Carcinotech
  • –  Dr Poonam Malik, Chair, Microplate DX
  • –  Andrew McNeill, Managing Partner, Eos Advisory
  • –  Indro Mukerjee, CEO, Innovate UK
  • –  Dr Soumya Palliyil, Co-founder of BrIgID Bio, Head of Scottish Biologics Facility
  • –  Professor Andrew Porter, Director, Scottish Biologics Facility
  • –  Dr Fiona Rudkin, Co-founder and Managing Director, mycoBiologics
  • –  Clare Terlouw, Head of LifeArc Ventures, LifeArc Ventures
  • –  Tom Whipple, Science Editor, The Times

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