24 September 2018Americas

UK pursues life sciences partnership in Texas

The UK government has today confirmed that a “winter fact-finding mission” will soon be carried out by UK life sciences experts in Texas, building on the science and technology cooperation agreement signed by the UK and the US last year.

The agreement, announced in September 2017, was the first umbrella science and technology collaboration between the US and the UK. It was intended to strengthen the research relationship between the countries, and outlined a commitment to work together on innovative scientific projects.

Today, following a visit to the US, UK science minister Sam Gyimah has confirmed that a new US-UK life sciences collaboration will commence in November in Texas.

The “mission” will involve UK businesses and academics travelling to Texas to seek opportunities for global innovation, according to the release.

Gyimah commented: “Science has no borders. By collaborating with our US colleagues, we are pooling our power to find the answers to the biggest science questions of today and making the most of the inventions of tomorrow.”

He added that academic and business partnerships between the UK and the US are leading to the important commercialisation of technology.

For example, the University of Cambridge and the Massachusetts Institute of Technology are currently working together on research programmes that improve productivity and competitiveness, Gyimah said.

The UK government first shared details of the Texas collaboration earlier this month. As part of the partnership, the Texas Medical Center, which is home to more than 60 innovators, will open its doors to UK life sciences companies in efforts to boost exports and drive innovation.

In Texas, they will have access to a network of investors and experts. The collaboration will enable joint research in areas such as genomics and oncology.

The UK’s developing relationship with the US in the area of life sciences comes amid the apparent weakening of the UK’s relationship with Europe: the European Medicines Agency (EMA) has reportedly put a stop to the UK’s role in evaluating new EU medicines, as Brexit draws closer. And last year, the EMA announced that it would relocate from its London headquarters to Amsterdam.

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