What to expect from the Annual Life Sciences Conference 2019

With the tickets now on sale for The Scotsman’s Annual Life Sciences Conference on November 26th, and with the early bird discount closing at midnight on Tuesday 24th September, here’s what you can expect from attending Scotland’s biggest conference dedicated to life sciences.


The conference brings together over 200 professionals from industry, academia and healthcare.  Scotland’s life sciences sector benefits from strong links between the three disciplines and this event creates an environment to network and work together for the success of the sector.

Innovation, Momentum, Ambition

The Scotsman Conferences and Life Sciences Scotland have worked together to create a programme that will deliver sector-specific insight and workshops designed to help our life sciences organisations grow.  Small and medium sized businesses have been front of mind in the programme design and the sessions have been put together in direct response to feedback from these enterprises that are driving the growth of the sector.  This includes:

  • An opportunity for SMEs to present their business in the Innovation Showcase
  • An afternoon of practical business momentum sessions that will give you new insight and case examples into the topics you told us were a priority for growth
  • A chance to hear about key strategies that are being put in place to realise the ambition of the sector
  • Plenty of networking opportunities


From 8.30am    Registration and Networking

9.45am           Innovation Session

Keynote by Dave Tudor, Co-Chair of the Life Sciences Scotland Industry Leadership Group

The life sciences sector in Scotland is on track to grow to £8bn by 2025 and this makes it one of the most important sectors in Scotland.  Furthermore, the international ambition of the sector is clear and the opportunity to become global leaders in our key areas of strength is there for the taking.

Raising Investment for Innovation

Investment remains front of mind for most business leaders with ambitions to scale a life sciences enterprise.  This session will demonstrate the factors critical to successfully securing venture capital investment and the role innovation of both the science and business model has in this.

NHS Scotland: the best clinical research lab in the world, Andrew Fowlie

The unified infrastructure of NHS Scotland is unique in the UK and along with the invaluable resource of data available, there is a tremendous opportunity for data-driven health care and the validation of healthcare innovations.  Andrew Fowlie, NHS Lead for Health, Social Care and Industrial Innovation will illustrate the opportunities for new medical technologies and digital solutions along with the reality of regulatory considerations and the financial investment required.

10.55am          Coffee & Networking              

11.10am          Innovation Showcase 

Life sciences enterprises from across Scotland will be selected to present their Innovation.  You can find out more and apply to take part here.

12.10pm          The Minister’s keynote address, Ivan McKee MSP

12.25pm          Lunch & Networking

1.25pm            Business Momentum Workshops (Includes Coffee & Networking) 

Upon registering for the event, delegates will get to select three sessions that are most relevant to their circumstances and will add the most value to their organisation.  Sessions are on a first come first serve basis and will include:

Securing higher levels of Investment

Over a quarter of life sciences enterprises in Scotland reported they now need to raise >£1m of investment.  This session will provide insight, advice and practical tips for securing higher levels of investment in life sciences and biotechnology.  You’ll get to hear what VCs look for in a life sciences enterprise and what you need to do to build a case.  A real case example of a successful Series A round will demonstrate the reality of timelines and effort and key lessons learned.

Building a Sales capability

The most common challenge reported by life sciences SMEs in Scotland is accelerating sales and building the internal capability to do this effectively.  This session will provide ideas for how to identify sales potential in scientists, build sales capability and to retain great sales people. 

Increasing your presence in the market

There is a massive opportunity for life sciences SMEs to punch well above their weight in the market on a shoestring budget.  This session will explain the role of the online platforms in building your presence in the market and how to make the most of them in the right way.  You’ll also get to see a real example of how a small enterprise has increased its presence in the market and generated new business contacts and partnerships at a fraction of the price of traditional marketing methods.

Accessing technical Talent

One of the most common challenges reported by life sciences enterprises is getting the right technical talent to keep up with a fast-moving market.  Employing full time research staff from academia is not always feasible so this session will provide examples of accessing external and developing internal technical talent in different ways.

Engaging with the NHS

Getting an innovation validated and adopted by the NHS is probably the most challenging task for any business leader or academic in life sciences.  Even the largest of pharmaceutical companies with years of experience are still learning how to do this.  Earlier in the day, Andrew Fowlie will demonstrate how NHS Scotland is innovating and the programmes and platforms available for testing innovations and this session will provide real case examples of successful collaborations along with the lessons that have been learned along the way.  For anyone considering selling an innovative medical device or digital solution to the NHS, this session is a must.

Elevating the business with Digital & Data 

Digitalisation has the potential to dramatically improve the bottom line of a business and the right data collection and management can elevate an organisation into new commercial opportunities.  This session follows a series of successful masterclasses held across Scotland aimed to demystify digitalisation and will provide practical advice on adopting the right approach.  You’ll get to hear the factors critical to a successful digital strategy and the opportunity data brings to add new value to your customers.

Advanced Therapies in Life Sciences supply and manufacturing

In 2018 it was announced that the world’s first drug manufacturing innovation centre will be based in Renfrewshire and is expected to support 80 high skilled jobs and attract £80m of research investment.  With over 150 companies in Scotland involved in the pharmaceutical supply chain, this session will be led by the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre and will explain the key technologies that are being developed at the site as a result of the first two grand challenges and the implications on the sector.  You’ll also be amongst the first to hear about how to get involved in the next grand challenges and the opportunities for collaboration this can provide.


5.05pm             AMBITION

                          Closing Keynote and Drinks Reception


5.30pm            Close


We look forward to seeing you on Tuesday 26th November at The Royal College of Physicians, Edinburgh.

Book tickets here.