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East Anglia: Essex County Council to lead regional life sciences trade mission to China

09:00 28 March 2014

Sue Lissimore, Essex County Councils deputy cabinet member for economic growth and infrastructure.

Sue Lissimore, Essex County Councils deputy cabinet member for economic growth and infrastructure.

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Essex County Council is leading a trade mission to China in a bid to attract investment to the East of England life sciences industry.

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Representatives from some of the region’s top research institutions are due to take part in the week-long trip to Jiangsu province which begins tomorrow.

The mission has already generated interest among Chinese life science businesses and business parks and it is hoped the visit will encourage Chinese investment in Essex, Suffolk and Norfolk, which could lead to new high-value jobs and advances in scientific research.

Life science companies and research organisations from China are looking for new technologies, business partners and markets. The East of England, acting as a gateway to the rest of the UK and Europe, hopes to position itself as the ideal landing destination for them.

During the week, East of England delegates will meet representatives from life science sectors in Jiangsu province, including Nanjing Agricultural University, the Jiangsu Department of Public Health, Yangtze River Pharmaceutical and companies and organisations within China Medical City, Taizhou.

In addition the delegates will also be visiting life science companies in Nanjing and Suzhou. Jiangsu is one of the most advanced and sophisticated areas for life science-related research and manufacturing in China.

The key event of the week is the East of England Life Science Conference on Monday, March 31, where the delegates will meet, develop links and promote the East of England with Chinese companies interested in doing business with them.

The East of England delegates have indicated the types of companies they would like to meet at the conference. Companies ranging from agritech working on soil improvement, to companies interested in acquiring technology in small molecule therapeutics for the treatment of melanoma.

Essex County Council has lined up compatible Chinese organisations so that the delegates can forge links at the conference.

The East of England life science sector has particular strengths in assisted living, biotechnology, gene research, healthcare, medical technologies, food research, environment, agritech and plant and microbial science.

There are major research parks in the East of England, where world class research and cross-collaboration enables a cutting-edge research base.

More than 500 life science companies of all sizes, developing highly advanced and innovative technologies, products and services are based in the East of England. Through them, Chinese companies have access to skills, supply chain partners and knowledge, enabling them to open UK-based offices and create jobs.

Sue Lissimore, Essex County Council’s deputy cabinet member for economic growth and infrastructure is leading the East of England delegation.

She will be joined by Colleen Walker, Norfolk County Council cabinet member for economic development, Anita Thornberry and Kimberley Lilley of Anglia Ruskin University’s MedTech Campus, Matthew Hills from the Norwich Research Park, Charles Wilby of University Campus Suffolk and Martin Stocks, from Plant Bioscience Limited, based in Norwich.

Sue Lissimore said: “I am proud to be leading such a strong delegation to Jiangsu. I am hopeful that we will develop useful links which will enable our life sciences sector here in the East of England to benefit from Chinese investment and expertise.

“Essex County Council has worked extremely hard preparing for this trip to make sure that delegates maximise all possibilities for working together while they are in China.

“This is a great example of the Council working hard to create and maintain jobs in Essex and to provide opportunities for scientific research and development in the county.”

Essex County Council is this year celebrating 25 years of links with Jiangsu province, during which business and cultural ties have been established, such as the 2008 Jiangsu Festival and the Guardians of the King exhibition at Colchester Castle.

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