In the 20 years I’ve been based in Oxfordshire I’ve seen the county turn into a major hub for science and technology in the UK. Not only has the research powerhouse of Oxford University gone from strength to strength but also many dedicated facilities and campuses have opened up across the county providing homes for industry-leading companies and cutting-edge start-ups.
Sites such as Culham, Harwell, Begbroke, Milton Park and Oxford Science Park mean that the area boasts world-class facilities for the life sciences, biotech and pharma industries to thrive. Because of this, there are many fascinating events and conferences held each year that allow the leaders in these sectors to meet and network, learn from and debate each other, seek partners and investors, and indeed socialise!
One of my favourite events is BioTrinity. It’s a great place to catch up with many existing clients as well as bringing connections together. It’s also a fabulous place to take the temperature of the sector and find out what’s going to be driving changes in the coming months and years.
This year, thanks to COVID-19, the event was of course in jeopardy. However, the organisers OBN did a fantastic job of delivering the entire event digitally. As well as streaming and video presentations, they also facilitated private 1:1 digital partnering meetings which were a great way to catch up with old friends, colleagues and clients, as well as meet new contacts.
Like many of us in the current situation, COVID-19 meant that I had to throw my original plans out of the window, but I thought I’d take advantage of the digital BioTrinity platform to find out what the global pandemic has meant for the life sciences sector. I wanted to understand what unique challenges had arisen, how the sector was addressing them, and what the “new future” looks like. I also wanted to know what the personal thoughts and reactions to the situation were of some of the world’s leading scientists and science entrepreneurs. As you can imagine, I had some fascinating conversations!