Life science conference exhibits world-class work
Students from Swansea will be heading to the capital for a very special St David's Day event.
Swansea University is once again leading the way in life science research and innovation as it plays a key role in the Welsh Government's 2016 BioWales event.
The university is a BioWales Gold Supporter for the third year running and the event, which will be held at the Wales Millennium Centre on March 1 and 2, will exhibit the world-class work being carried out by various departments including Swansea University Medical School, the School of Management and the College of Human and Health Sciences.
BioWales is the largest life science conference, exhibition and partnering event in the Welsh calendar with this year's theme being Connect and Collaborate.
The event will showcase the visionary work of the ARCH Programme, which has been built on an ethos of collaboration and innovation.
ARCH (A Regional Collaboration to Health) is a unique collaboration between Swansea University and ABMU and Hywel Dda University health boards. The programme spans six local authority areas of Ceredigion, Pembrokeshire, Carmarthenshire, Bridgend, Neath Port Talbot and Swansea.
The ARCH partners are working together across a population of one million people to create a healthcare system fit for the 21st Century, drive investment and create new jobs, skill up the next generation of life science and health professionals.
Swansea University student Luke Whitmore, aged 22, has attended the BioWales event in previous years as part of his industry work placement, and says the event has really helped him learn more about his chosen profession.
Luke, who is studying Business Management at the School of Management, says the life science conference helped him make a more informed decision about his career path and is encouraging fellow students to attend the Cardiff event.
Luke said, "I attended BioWales for the first time in 2014 alongside Professor Iain Whitaker, ABMU's consultant plastic surgeon at the Welsh Centre for Burns and Plastic Surgery at Morriston Health Campus and director of ReconRegen as part of my work placement.
"I wanted to expand my knowledge of the medical and life science industries, in order to make an informed decision about my potential career path post-university.
"By attending BioWales, I gained a far greater insight into the business side of these industries. Coupled with the professional experience I gained working with Professor Whitaker, Professor who is also chairman of plastic and reconstructive surgery at Swansea University's Medical School, I feel as though I am now in the best position possible to find an exceptional graduate position within this growing sector."
Luke added that he felt proud Swansea University was involved in such a prestigious life science specific event adding: "I think it is extremely important for the university to be involved in events such as BioWales. By supporting students to attend these types of events, we are able to network with key industry professionals.
"I think students who attend will find greater employment opportunities in the future."
Luke is gearing up for this year's event and is proud to be attending as part of the ARCH delegation. He said: "I am excited to be attending again this year alongside my course mates at the School of Management. I'm hoping we will all make some useful connections, and learn more about the opportunities on offer with the exhibitors.
"I will also be proud to talk to other delegates about the growing life science sector right here in South West Wales. It is wonderful to be part of the pioneering work taking place at Swansea University. And their involvement in the ARCH Programme can only build on their world-class research and innovation."
Professor Marc Clement, Swansea University Medical School's ILS Executive Chairman and Dean of the Management School and ARCH board member, will be a keynote speaker at this year's BioWales. He said the theme of collaboration was the perfect platform to showcase the work of ARCH.
He said: "The theme this year is Collaboration - ARCH is built on the ethos of collaboration and innovation. We will be talking about the philosophy behind the ARCH partnership and also highlighting the amazing work which is already starting to deliver benefits to the people in South West Wales.
"Following the recent significant £1.2million funding from Welsh Government to progress the work of ARCH, we are now working at pace to establish this region as a world-leader in innovation, research and healthcare.
"With the launch of the Swansea Bay City Region deal this week, we will take this opportunity to shout about the ground-breaking work taking place in our part of Wales and how this innovation, collaboration and research excellence will not only benefit health and healthcare but also boost the local economy."
Swansea University will showcase its life science research and projects at the exhibition on Stands 24 and 25.
Now in its 14th year, BioWales 2016 will see delegations attending from Spain, Israel, Canada, India and Turkey.
Economy Minister Edwina Hart added: "BioWales is our flagship event for life sciences and is without doubt one of the key events in the sector calendar in the UK. Its international appeal is growing at a pace which is a clear indication that the life science sector in Wales is really making its mark and attracting interest in markets around the world and we are also delighted health pioneer Lord Robert Winston will headline our conference this year."