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Discovery Park tenants share views on government’s industrial strategy

Posted on 13/01/17

Last November, the government announced a new industrial strategy to help drive future UK growth in a post-Brexit Britain with pledges for investment in infrastructure and science R&D.

This weekend Greg Clark, the Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will appear on the BBC Sunday Politics Show (11am BBC One) to be quizzed on the strategy and to hear what businesses across the South-East think is needed for it to be a success.

Two of Discovery Park’s most exciting tenants, working at the cutting edge of science and technology will be featured in short videos recorded ahead of the programme this week.

Steve Trim is founder and managing director of Venomtech, the UK’s only commercial venom laboratory working on drug discovery in key areas of 21st Century research – from new forms of antibiotics to innovative treatments for pancreatic cancer.

He believes that the new industrial strategy is a ‘step in the right direction’ given the uncertainty over science funding and Europe-wide collaboration that has resulted from last summer’s decision to start the process that will result in the UK leaving the European Union

But the scientist, who spent 10 years working for Pfizer as a drugs discovery biologist before setting up his own company in a world-class lab facility vacated by his former employer, says the government will need to ensure the strategy delivers on the support UK R&D leads to success at all levels.

What I’ve seen so far is that the industrial strategy looks like a promising step in the right direction after the shock of Brexit to the scientific community. What I’m looking for is support for the scientific community and a strong commitment to drug discovery, particularly in East Kent,” he said.

“The key assistance that we are looking for is a supportive network for funding and research at all levels – including SMEs – so that people like us who are coming up with new ideas and novel ways of solving problems can progress.”

Steve Trim MD Venomtech interviewed for BBC Sunday Politics Show

Dr Robert Stewart is Clinical Design Director with the Design and Learning Centre for Clinical and Social Innovation, one of Discovery Park’s newest arrivals, collaborating with partners across the UK and globally from China and Japan to Canada and Sweden, delivering innovative technological solutions for health and social care.

I think the industrial strategy is very important. I hope it will value the small innovation centres like ourselves who have shown that they are able to implement new ways of working and new technologies.

If we’re going to do this, we need to empower the citizen to be more in control of their health and wellbeing.

“To do that we need to have technology, we need to have technology, we need to encompass the digital revolution, we need to bring in robotics and we need to use artificial intelligence in a much better way that truly transforms the way health and social care professionals and increasingly the voluntary sector can meet the needs and priorities of the 1.5 million people in Kent we serve.

“What I really want to see out of this industrial strategy is support for us to be able to have funding to be able to deliver these new ways of working, but more importantly to implement these changes.

“The Design and Learning Centre is excited to be based in Discovery Park where it is able to make good use of spaces to encourage innovation and relations with other businesses on the park.”

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