A combination of presentations and panel discussions created the format for the day which was specifically designed to promote conversations around topics felt to be key in the development of the sector. It is widely considered that a vibrant BioMed sector has the potential to improve the Isle of Man's opportunities to create jobs and contribute to the continued growth of the Island’s economy.
Minister for the Department for Enterprise, Hon Laurence Skelly, MHK, who opened the event said,
"’The Manx Biomed conference is a positive example of cross government and industry working, showcasing collaboration on ways to nurture growth in the sector and constructive discussion on ways that technology can help deliver benefits to the Isle of Man as a whole. The Department for Enterprise’s commitment to a diverse economy includes the continued innovation and diversification across our sectors and the nurturing of entrepreneurial talent. Biomed continues to be a strong area of interest and we will be working closely with the Health and Life Sciences Advisory Board going forward to enable the continuing success of this small but vibrant sector of the economy.”
Dave Taggart, COO of Glycyx Therapeutics Ltd, chaired the day and kicked off the morning programme by outlining key considerations for the development of a biomed strategy. In summing up the day Dave has said,
“It was great to see both existing and new Manx Biomed companies presenting. Every single group that presented has been either founded here, is relocating part of their business here, or has received funding on the Isle of Man – in many cases all of the above. One particular highlight was the role that young Manx talent has played in creating some of the businesses – including cracking problems that have stumped huge computer science departments to create new digital health apps. It was also exciting to see several Biology and Business students from the Isle of Man high schools in the audience – maybe they will be the next generation of health and life sciences entrepreneurs!"
DQ’s Hazel Dawson, who has a keen interest in the emerging Biomed sector arising from her first degree in Biomedical Sciences, presented at the event in relation to the implications of the GDPR on data protection for the life sciences. Hazel, also a committee member of the Chamber of Commerce Fuel Group, joined other Fuel Committee members in a panel discussion relating to the ‘FutureIsle’ project which is a review of some of the major global trends set to emerge over the next 25 to 30 years, and the impacts and opportunities these trends could bring to the Isle of Man.
With regard to the overall event Hazel commented:
“The event was well attended and shows there is a significant interest both on and off Island in the prospective BioMed sector. It was very encouraging to note the involvement of the local government ministers and the encouragement of the sector by the fund managers for the Department for Enterprise’s Enterprise Development Scheme. All signs point towards the continuing development of this potentially significant area of growth for the Island.”