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Ministers Swinney and Neil to headline Harper Macleod’s new LiKE conferences for Scotland’s booming life sciences sector

Leading law firm Harper Macleod LLP has launched two new Scottish life sciences events – the LiKE conferences – which will take place in Glasgow and Inverness in September this year.

Scotland is quickly developing into a world-leading hub for the development of life sciences and Harper Macleod is heavily involved in this sector.

The Life sciences, Knowledge & Enterprise (LiKE) conferences will bring together the key players in the sector to exchange ideas and address current issues in the burgeoning life sciences market, with the aim of fostering collaboration and growth.

Alex Neil, Minister for Health & Wellbeing, will deliver the keynote speech at LiKE Glasgow, which will take place all day on 3 September at 200 St Vincent Street.

John Swinney, Minister for Finance, Employment and Sustainable Growth, will deliver the keynote speech at LiKE Inverness, which will take place on 30 September at the Kingsmills Hotel, Inverness.

Other confirmed speakers currently include representatives from the Scottish Government, GlaxoSmithKline, the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry, Heriot-Watt University, Taragenyx, Kelvin Capital and HIE Ventures.

Jamie Watt, head of Harper Macleod's Healthcare & Life Sciences group, said: "Organising these two new conferences is a natural evolution of the work we've recently been involved in. Increasingly, our healthcare clients are accessing innovation, and our life sciences clients are finding their technology picked up by market, and we've seen a significant jump in available funding.

"We're seeing a lot of common issues arising, whether they relate to simplifying the investment process, managing complex regulatory matters, trading internationally, or organising effective collaboration, and some great solutions being developed. There's real benefit for Scotland in providing a forum in which this know how can be shared and growth fostered".

The conferences are being supported by SCDI and Entrepreneurial Spark. Further supporters will be announced shortly.

Niamh Hegarty, Senior Policy Executive, Scottish Council for Development and Industry, said: "Scotland is home to the second largest life sciences cluster in the UK, worth £3.1bn to the Scottish economy, and there is significant interest in new investment. LiKE will provide a forum for bold thinking about the sector and how Scotland can enhance its global competitiveness in innovation, commercialisation and manufacturing."

Other key participants in the sector are expected to be added to the conferences, and the full programme will be revealed shortly.

Delegate places at either event cost £50 plus VAT. Discount rates are available for SCDI Members, Entrepreneurial Spark Chiclets and staff & students of academic organisations.

To book a place at either event or to find out more, email [email protected] or visit