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      The Value of Cooperation Capital to the OxCam Arc

      As one of the most productive and economically active regions of the UK, the Oxford-Cambridgeshire Arc has the opportunity to become a world-leading innovation and enterprise zone, incubating businesses in the sectors of the future, including life sciences, ICT and high-tech (and green) manufacturing.

      22 Feb 2022 Dr Andy Williams, Vice President – Cambridge Programme & Strategy, AstraZeneca

      Generating £110bn for the British economy each year – with £2.9bn (3%) of that coming from life sciences companies in the Cambridge cluster alone – and with higher growth rates than anywhere outside London, the Arc clearly has huge economic potential.

      That is a key reason why we at AstraZeneca decided to consolidate our R&D efforts in the UK alongside our global headquarters at the Cambridge Biomedical Campus. Our recently opened Discovery Centre (DISC) represents a £1 billion investment and will accommodate over 2,200 research scientists. Cambridge is undoubtably one of the most important bioscience locations in the world and we are proud of our legacy in the area – our footprint in the East of England delivers £1.23 bn in GVA per year to the regional economy, directly employs around 3,600 people and supports a further 11,850 jobs.

      Across the whole UK – fired by our research in Cambridge – AstraZeneca provides £3.6bn in GVA per year, employs 7,897 colleagues (FTE), and supports a further 41,579 jobs across the economy.

      Whilst the Arc benefits from many of the key factors that drive innovation – access to finance, world-class skills and talent, and renowned research institutes – the critical reason for its success is cooperation.

      In Cambridge and across the wider Arc area we see real results derive from a shared outlook and ethos in seeking to solve problems. This ‘cooperation capital’ is a key ingredient for life sciences, as we have seen in recent times – with Government, industry, and academia working together to develop and distribute vaccines at unprecedented speed.

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      Being able to commercialise the wealth of incredible ideas harboured in Cambridge and elsewhere in the Arc is another vital component of a thriving ecosystem.

      As part of our commitment to encourage innovation and entrepreneurship in life sciences, we support a number of initiatives that help biotech entrepreneurs advance their ideas. To date around 75 start-ups have benefitted from this knowledge and experience. Activities we support include programmes run by the Cambridge Judge Business School’s (CJBS) Entrepreneurship Centre, including Accelerate Cambridge and Ignite; Accelerate@Babraham; CMS Ventures, an early-stage collaboration and investment fund between AstraZeneca, China Medical Systems (CMS) and CJBS launched in 2020, as well as with Lucy Cavendish College, Cambridge.

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