Several leading UK clinicians and pioneering medical companies - along with representatives from the West Midlands, including WMAHSN - are visiting California this week (23 - 29 September) in a bid to forge stronger relationships across the state.
The mission, which is supported by the UK government, aims to strengthen export links between the UK and California and create demand for UK-designed healthcare technologies. The Association of British Healthcare Industries (ABHI) is leading the mission, while Tony Davis, Commercial Director of WMAHSN, is on hand to offer advice and expertise.
The UK's medical technology (medtech) sector has been identified as a key driver of economic growth, post-Brexit, with the US viewed as a primary region for enhanced trading relationships. As the UK enters a new era for trade and business, the UK government has highlighted medtech, and the broader life sciences sector, as having a critical role in its Industrial Strategy, to propel UK productivity once it leaves the EU.
The ABHI has worked with its 260 members to identify key markets for future international relationships, and the US has been flagged as vital to the process.
Throughout the seven-day trip, UK companies will exhibit their innovative technologies at the MedTech Conference, the leading conference for medtech officials in North America. The objective is to forge lasting relationships and to drive sales for UK products.
Such is the importance of the visit, the conference will be attended by Lord David Prior, the UK's Under-Secretary of State at the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy. Commenting on the visit, Lord Prior said: “The life sciences sector is hugely important to the health of the UK economy, with a turnover of £64 billion in 2016 and employing nearly 235,000 people. The recently published independent Life Sciences Industrial Strategy demonstrates the world-class expertise the UK already has in this area and I welcome the opportunity to champion the sector and support the work the ABHI is doing here in the US.”
Medtech is now worth more than £17 billion to the UK and is part of the UK's £64 billion life sciences industry. The Life Sciences Industrial Strategy report was welcomed by senior government ministers, and provides the framework for increased funding and support for the sector. The government recently announced nearly £169 million of funding to support the sector off the back of the report, and UK companies will be seeking new trading partners with renewed vigour as they explore the Californian market.