Mayor of London targets medical breakthroughs with MedCity launch
Boris Johnson hopes to turn London into a world leader for medical sciences.
This morning, he launched the MedCity initiative that oversee the development of the life sciences sector established between Oxford, Cambridge and London.
MedCity will be modelled on the Tech City UK, which had a similar objective for the tech industry in London.
Shift away from financial services?
The Mayor hopes that the medical sciences industry in the South East can become as important to the national economy as financial services.
Over 700,000 people are employed in the South East and Boris Johnson believes that the number will double in the next twenty years.
The new organisation will receive over £4m in funding. The funding is made up of £2.92m from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and £1.2m from the Mayor of London’s office.
This makes it better funded than its sister organisation Tech City UK, who receive approximately £2m each year.
A boost for London?
Prior to the event, the Mayor demonstrated the use of a novel device based on the Microsoft Kinect camera, which tracked his movements generating a 3D image of the Mayor’s head.
He explained at the launch that despite the infrastructure that London already has, it has not had the success of other cities in the world, and “that is why we created MedCity”.
The Mayor’s team hope that developing the sector will mean jobs for Londoners.
Boris also believes a cluster based in the ‘golden-triangle’ of London-Oxford-Cambridge could lead to substantial breakthroughs in combating diseases across the world.
The organisation will aim to “attract corporations to the area, facilitate collaboration between corporations and UK academic research, and reinforcing the specialist infrastructure in the area.”
It was the collaboration across all players within medical sciences that was particularly emphasized at the launch.
MedCity has been established in co-operation with UCL, King’s College, Imperial, Oxford and Cambridge.
Collaboration between these organisations will be crucial if the sector is to achieve the targets set out my the Mayor.
Elliot Forster, Chairman of MedCity, explained:
MedCity will stimulate collaboration across the sector and through this drive economic growth. This is a singular opportunity for this sector to find its rightful place in the world market.