Leeds Flies Flag for Science and Innovation by Welcoming 2019 Business of Science Conference

The city of Leeds will play host to the annual Business of Science Conference for the first time this year, celebrating its progression as a UK leader in science and innovation.

The event, which gathers businesses and individuals involved in the commercialisation of science, will take place on Thursday 16th May 2019 at Leeds Cloth Hall Court, welcoming keynote speakers such as chief executive of Leeds City Council, Tom Riordan, minister for Northern Powerhouse, Jake Berry MP and Pip Clode, concept team leader at Mercedes-AMG High Performance Powertrains.

More than £1.4 million of investment was made into the city last year, including for the launch of the Bragg Centre, which will see the University of Leeds work closely with leading scientists to develop new and innovative solutions for real-world materials challenges. The university has also secured 150 fully-funded PhD research placements to train the next generation of scientists and engineers.

Tom Riordan, chief executive of Leeds City Council, will open the Business of Science Conference. Discussing what the event means to the city, he said: “Leeds has seen huge investment over the last few years, including welcoming Channel 4 and expanding our digital sector. Our strong innovation economy has proven key to the city’s success, so it’s the perfect time to host the Business of Science Conference and celebrate all that our city has to offer.

“Because innovation thrives with the sharing of ideas and knowledge, Leeds City Council is working with partners to bring some of the city’s most creative and innovative institutions and businesses together to form an Innovation District. As science, tech and innovation play increasingly important roles in our strong local economy it is vital to ensure that everyone across the city is given the chance to benefit. We are dedicated to ensuring that the Innovation District is also inclusive by ensuring that it has affordable, flexible spaces for new and SME creative businesses at its centre.”

Steve Bennett, founder and managing director of Business of Science Ltd, said: “Following three successful years in Manchester and Liverpool, the natural next step was to bring the 2019 conference to Leeds, and what a welcome we have had. The city is a true UK leader in science and innovation and is at the forefront of medical technologies.”

Delegates can expect a combination of panel discussions, breakout sessions and interactive sessions at this years’ conference. With the overarching theme of the commercialisation of science, speakers will cover topics such as the business of space, emerging technologies, Brexit and diversity in STEM.

“Last year nearly 200 people attended the event, continuing our year-on-year growth, and we’re expecting 2019 to be bigger and better than ever,” Steve added. “Organisations that are passionate about driving innovation forward are joining us, as well some of the world’s leading influencers in the industry, who’ll on hand to explore the real economic impact of science in the UK today.”

The Business of Science Conference has also launched a new award for 2019. The Innovation Award is open to individuals of all ages – from primary through secondary school and into later careers – giving the innovators of tomorrow the chance to submit their “science dreams”. The winning entries will be showcased in front of industry-leaders at the conference and will receive recognition through PR, marketing and social media exposure.

Elsewhere, the Business of Science Leadership and Special Recognition Awards will return for 2019, acknowledging individuals demonstrating outstanding business contributions in science and innovation. The awards will be presented at the pre-conference dinner at the Hilton Doubletree Hotel in Leeds city centre on Wednesday 15th May.

Conference sponsors and partners include BASF, Victrex, Domino, Rutherford Diagnostics, William Blythe, Eversheds Sutherland, PZ Cussons, Arup, Leeds Trinity University and N8 Research.

Other supporters include TransitionPlus, Road3, Active Profile, Rare Digital, Wakelet, LookOut, Forward Ladies, YABA, the British Coatings Federation and the Royal Institution.

For more information on the conference agenda, partners, awards, or to buy tickets for the event, visit: www.businessofscience.co.uk 

Work Begins at New Rutherford Diagnostics Headquarters in Liverpool

Work began today on one of the most advanced healthcare diagnostic centres to be built in the UK. 

Liverpool is to be the site of the flagship HQ of Rutherford Diagnostics, located in Knowledge Quarter Liverpool (KQ Liverpool) at Liverpool City Council’s £1 billion Paddington Village Development. The centre, which will be the first in a network of centres, will address the significant shortage of diagnostic provision in the UK resulting in patients waiting weeks for test results.

The turf cutting event for the £20 million-pound project was led by CEO of Proton Partners International Mike Moran, Liverpool Mayor Joe Anderson, Chief Diagnostic Officer for Rutherford Diagnostics Dr Steven Powell and Professor Dame Janet Beer, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Liverpool and Chair of KQ Liverpool, exactly a year to the day since the turf cutting of the Rutherford Cancer Centre North West just a few yards away.

Rutherford Diagnostics aspires to be at the forefront of revolutionising healthcare by becoming a leader in the prediction, prevention and earliest possible detection of disease, as well as being equipped to conduct the most complex of diagnostic tests across a wide range of conditions using the latest technologies. The company’s goal is to reduce waiting times for diagnostic tests from weeks to days and develop real partnerships with private healthcare and NHS organisations to help achieve this.

Mike Moran said:

“Once complete this centre will represent a true step change in the way diseases are detected and treated. Britain’s approach to healthcare is unfortunately very reactionary, often responding to diseases when they have reached an advanced stage. We hope to turn that around using personalised screening and advanced diagnostic technologies.”

At the heart of Rutherford Diagnostics will be genomics, the recording of whole genome sequence data which will be used to predict disease, susceptibility, and treatment and drug response. The core technologies Rutherford Diagnostics will provide include Spectral CT, digital PET-CT, 3T MRI, ultrasound, endoscopy, and a commercial genomics laboratory.

Dr Steven Powell said that a more progressive approach to disease management is critical to improve the nation’s health:

“By utilising and developing innovative technologies, such as genomic sequencing, personalised screening and state-of-the-art diagnostics, we hope to reduce levels of acute illness and support good health. It is only by proactively targeting illness at its roots that we can transform healthcare and engender good health across Britain.”

The five-storey centre will be built by the council’s appointed contractor Morgan Sindall, and is adjacent to the Rutherford Cancer Centre North West (also operated by Proton Partners International) and directly opposite the Royal College of Physicians’ new Northern headquarters, which is situated in The Spine, a new 200,000 sq ft building.

Mayor Joe Anderson hailed the ground break as a landmark day for Liverpool;

“This diagnostics centre is going to be a fantastic addition to Paddington Village and further boosts our plans for a world leading innovation hub in the heart of the city’s Knowledge Quarter. Paddington Village is gaining real momentum now with renowned tenants like Proton Partners International, the RCP and Kaplan investing in the city and creating highly skilled jobs – and the great news is that there is much more to come.”

Northern Powerhouse and Local Growth Minister Jake Berry MP said:

“It’s fantastic to see work begin on the new Rutherford Diagnostics Headquarters in the heart of the Liverpool Knowledge Quarter, which has been developed as part of the £332 million Growth Deal for the Liverpool City Region. Liverpool is rapidly establishing itself as a global leader in the area of MedTech, building on decades of pioneering work by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine.

“This multimillion pound project is another demonstration of the drive for economic growth in the City of Liverpool.  We are ensuring medical innovation is revolutionising healthcare across the Northern Powerhouse and leading the world.”

New report highlights need for radical overhaul of cancer diagnostics

A new report by the Health Foundation has rightly highlighted the urgent need for a revolution in cancer diagnosis in Britain, Proton Partners International said today.

A new report by the Health Foundation has rightly highlighted the urgent need for a revolution in cancer diagnosis in Britain, Proton Partners International said today.

The Health Foundation report found that 10,000 deaths could be prevented each year with better diagnosis. Despite enormous investment over the past three decades, Britain still lags behind all Western European countries in cancer survival statistics.

According to the report, at the heart of the problem is the ‘tight gate-keeping’ of the NHS, only GPs can refer patients for check-ups and are pressured not to refer too many, while the NHS does not have enough equipment or staff to carry out the checks that it should.

Professor Karol Sikora, chief medical director at Proton Partners International, a leading provider of cancer services in the UK including cancer diagnostics, called for a radical overhaul of the way cancer is diagnosed in Britain. He said:

“What we urgently need is for patients with certain symptoms to go straight to a non-hospital clinical environment where all relevant tests can be done at once and then referred to an appropriate specialist if necessary. That would be a real game changer in cancer diagnostics in the UK and more lives will be saved.

“The current system of incorporating diagnostic services within hospitals is simply not working. Patients are facing drastic delays in getting crucial imaging and biopsies.”

Steve Powell, chief diagnostic officer at Rutherford Diagnostics, a subsidiary of Proton Partners International that specialises in cancer diagnosis, said:

“At present, patients are having to wait at least six weeks for their diagnosis, that is not acceptable. We should be aiming to reduce those weeks of waiting to days and ultimately be able to provide a 24-hour service.

“Adding diagnostic equipment to hospitals will not solve the problem, it will simply be engulfed by the demand and patients will face the same structural obstacles of ‘tight gate-keeping’ that this report highlights. Patients with the relevant symptoms should be able to get all their tests in a pleasant specialised diagnostic environment, and then forwarded to the relevant specialist if diagnosed with cancer.

“GPs need to be empowered to use CT, MRI and endoscopy services without having to make endless referrals. This will not only lead to quicker diagnoses but will prove hugely cost-efficient too.”