News article

UKTI Switzerland & Liechtenstein concludes a busy six months rolling out the UK Life Sciences Strategy

This world location news article was published under the 2010 to 2015 Conservative and Liberal Democrat coalition government

In April a joint ministerial visit took place in Switzerland, and in May Swiss companies attended a seminar on the UK Medtech market.

The investment team at the British Embassy in Berne achieved two milestones in launching the UKTI Life Sciences Strategy in Switzerland. In May, over 20 companies attended a seminar on entering the UK Medical Technologies market and understanding NICE evaluation criteria. The programme featured presentations by Hakim Yadi of UKTI’s Life Science Investment Organisation (LSIO), UK HealthGateway, the Swiss Business Hub London and Medtech Switzerland as well as a case study by Swiss company Ypsomed. Dr. Leeza Osipenko, Senior Scientific Adviser at the National Institute for Health and Clinical Excellence (NICE) delivered a practical workshop on how NICE assesses new products, a potential point of entry into the NHS.

The event was organised in collaboration with Swiss umbrella organisation Medtech Switzerland. The networking reception following the conference was an excellent opportunity to connect with Swiss companies, generate FDI leads, and further explain the important role UKTI holds in supporting foreign direct investment. Frances Pennell-Buck, UKTI’s new medical technology specialist, was also present and added great value to questions on the ground.

Prior to this in early April, a joint ministerial visit by The Rt Hon David Willetts MP (Minister for Universities and Science) and The Rt Hon Earl Howe (Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State for Health) impressed Swiss interlocutors with the British Government’s strategic approach to NHS reform, encouragement for innovation in areas such as the Life Sciences, and fostering a propitious environment for business. This visit also provided a timely boost for the relationships with four strategically managed Swiss investor companies. Both ministers visited Switzerland to engage with actual and potential investors and to understand the drivers behind Swiss innovation.

Over an exclusive dinner with 15 biotech companies at the Ambassador’s Residence in Berne, Dr. Mark Treherne, Head of the Life Sciences Investment Organisation, set out HMG’s new Life Sciences Strategy around Stratified Medicine. The next day, Lord Howe’s well-received keynote speech on Innovation-based Healthcare Strategies for Ageing and Longevity left a lasting impression with over 200 member companies at the Swiss Biotech Association in Zurich. As a result of the dinner and Lord Howe’s speech, the Berne Inward investment team is now pursuing projects from nine potential investors. The companies in return impressed upon the HMG delegation the importance of implementation and alignment across all policy areas to ensure a stable and attractive environment for inward investment.