Support 100 years of independent journalism.

Biotechnology conference announced

The New Statesman event will shine a light on an industry that has been crucial in the fight against coronavirus, and can be a key player in the UK’s post-pandemic green recovery.

By Spotlight

Next month, on 15th July, the New Statesman will host its first conference on biotechnology. Through one-on-one interviews, panel discussions and live Q&As, the online event will bring together academics, researchers, industry leaders and parliamentarians to discuss this burgeoning industry with an audience of biotechnology experts and a range of figures from the public policy and private sectors.

The importance of industrial biotechnology has been highlighted by the events of the last 14 months, as its applications in pharmaceutical production, the development and manufacture of tests, treatments and vaccines, as well as in the field of genomics, have played a key part in combating the coronavirus pandemic. In addition, biotechnology has been recognised as having the potential to be a cornerstone of green growth and ‘building back better’, both by providing an advanced alternative to fossil fuels and by providing high-tech, high-productivity jobs of the future in the world-class UK industry.

This potential was recognised by the government in their 2018 report – published in conjunction with the industrial strategy – Growing the Bioeconomy, which set out a strategic vision for a sector “worth £220bn” gross value added, and “contributing over 5 million UK jobs”. Partnership between industry, government and universities was posited as the crucial basis of innovation, with this ‘triple helix’ of cross-sector cooperation seen as an essential precursor to fostering growth.

The conference will look to explore biotechnology’s role in the post-Covid economic recovery with former Minister for Life Sciences, George Freeman. Experts from the University of Manchester’s Manchester Institute of Biotechnology (MIB), Johnson Matthey and Cambridge Consultants will discuss the role of biotechnology in the transition to net zero, reducing emissions, creating products and processes based on renewables, and helping foster a circular economy. Speakers from Imperial College and Fujifilm Diosynth Laboratories will discuss the medical applications of biotechnology, from innovative gene therapies to new vaccine research, before guests from the UK Synthetic Biology Leadership Council and Cytiva look at its role in manufacturing processes. Speakers from Gilead and the Innogen Centre at the University of Edinburgh, as well as Chi Onwurah, Shadow Minister for Science and Research, will discuss the role of government in fostering a collaborative biotech innovation and investment ecosystem.

Click here for more information and to register for the event.

Sign up for The New Statesman’s newsletters Tick the boxes of the newsletters you would like to receive. Quick and essential guide to domestic and global politics from the New Statesman's politics team. The best of the New Statesman, delivered to your inbox every weekday morning. The New Statesman’s global affairs newsletter, every Monday and Friday. A handy, three-minute glance at the week ahead in companies, markets, regulation and investment, landing in your inbox every Monday morning. Our weekly culture newsletter – from books and art to pop culture and memes – sent every Friday. A weekly round-up of some of the best articles featured in the most recent issue of the New Statesman, sent each Saturday. A weekly dig into the New Statesman’s archive of over 100 years of stellar and influential journalism, sent each Wednesday. Sign up to receive information regarding NS events, subscription offers & product updates.
I consent to New Statesman Media Group collecting my details provided via this form in accordance with the Privacy Policy