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UKINNOVATION UK95 The ofice for Life sciences The establishment of the Office for Life Sciences ( OLS) in January 2009, led by Lord Drayson, Minister for Science and Innovation, clearly signals the importance that the UK places on the life- sciences industry. The Office for Life Sciences has worked in partnership with industry to agree a set of actions, published 14 July 2009 in the Life Sci-ence Blueprint. The Blueprint actions form a package of measures that has the potential to transform the UK life-sciences industry, by ensuring that the industry realises its potential as a major driver of economic growth, and of improved health and well being. Key Blueprint actions include: » Creating an Innovation Pass that will give patients faster access to cutting- edge medicines » A UK Innovation Investment Fund to invest in technology- based businesses with high- growth potential. The UK government will invest £ 150m alongside private- sector investment on an equal basis » Measures to ensure that the NHS leads the way in the uptake of groundbreaking and cost- effective medicines and technologies » £ 18 million in investment by the Technology Strategy Board to capitalise fully on the UK's leading global position in regenerative medicine. For more details of the Blueprint visit: www. bis. gov. uk/ innovation/ business_ support/ ols To contact the OLS team e- mail: ols@ bis. gsi. gov. uk Life- Sciences UKTI

96INNOVATION UKINNOVATION UK life- sciences companies have the world at their feet, with commercial opportunities in a wide range of markets Going global With its track record of world- class research, the UK life- sciences industry is internationally renowned for producing highly innovative, effective solutions to global and local health issues. The talent and skills available to the UK life- sciences industry have played a major part in its success, delivering scientific innovation at the highest level, and using man-agerial leadership and experience to turn cutting- edge scientific discoveries into marketable products and services. Such products and services are in increasing demand overseas, particularly in the area of healthcare, a sector worth some $ 10.5bn to the UK. Overseas sales of UK medical supplies, for example, continue to grow sharply, with exports of such products as orthopaedic and pros-thetic appliances hitting $ 2.2bn in 2007, compared with $ 681m in 2003. High- growth markets, which are increasingly investing in new hospitals, treatment centres, labs and devices to meet the demands of their expanding economies and growing populations, offer particularly interesting opportunities for UK companies. Key examples include the United Arab Emirates, where construction of new healthcare infrastructure is proceed-ing apace, and neighbouring Saudi Arabia, which has opportunities in fields such as medical and dental equip-ment, surgical implants, diagnostic products, hospital operation and management and medical training. South Africa, which is committed to restructuring its healthcare sector, provides similar openings, as well as prospects for e- health and IT solution providers, while China is devoting increasing levels of funding to rural healthcare provision. Assisting exporters UK Trade & Investment, the government agency that helps UK firms do business internationally, can help life- sciences companies take advantage of overseas opportunities. Its unique services include: » » An export health check » » Subsidised training » » Specialist help with tackling cultural and language issues » » Advice on market research and the possibility of a grant towards approved market- research projects » » Information, contacts, advice and mentoring » » Help and some financial support to participate in trade fairs overseas » » Opportunities to participate in sector- based trade missions and seminars » » Access to major overseas buyers, governments and supply chains » » Advice on forming international joint ventures and partnerships » » Exploratory visits to new markets » » Alerts to business opportunities. www. uktradeinvest. gov. uk Hong Kong, meanwhile, is seeking to become the inter-national hub for the standardisation of Traditional Chi-nese Medicine; South Korea needs to cater for one of the fastest ageing populations in the world; Malaysia is undertaking a major drive to set up medical centres and government hospitals and to upgrade facilities and medical systems; and Brazil is going through major health reforms, including a comprehensive management modernisation process. Life- Sciences UKTI