This collaborative culture, with the sharing of funds, talent and insight, is the foundation of so much of the invention, discovery and creativity flowing from our chemical and pharma industries.
And this isn’t just science for science’s sake. We call the event "Chemistry Means Business" for good reason. Our sector provides jobs and incomes, as well as advances in many fields that benefit the lives of literally everyone in the country, if not the world.
There is a clearly a lot at stake. That is why we’re so concerned about post-Brexit prospects.
While there’s research and development happening in every quarter of the chemical and pharma worlds, there’s no denying the importance of smaller, agile firms that are pursuing particular niches.
Yet, it’s these companies – with maybe only a handful of staff – that face the biggest challenges post-Brexit. They will be least able to overcome the new obstacles that could be put in their way, despite being the very lifeblood of innovation elsewhere in the sector.
There may be issues with the movement of people and data-sharing. However, access to funding is probably our biggest concern. We’re calling on the government to take every possible measure to prevent these problems arising in the first place by securing a deal that works for the UK scientific community as a whole; and if that’s not achievable then to put in place mitigation measures that will protect and enhance our considerable strengths in this area.
For our part, we will continue to champion the work of chemical and pharma companies; especially SMEs. That’s something we do directly with the government, as well as other influencers and stakeholders and we’ll keep at that until we have some clarity on what the future holds. More practically, we can offer SMEs support through our dedicated EnterprisePlus service.
We do face challenges as a sector and we need to tackle them. I’m sure we’ll all be mindful of that at Chemistry Means Business next week. But there’s also a lot to celebrate and it’s important to take the time for that too. If nothing else, telling the stories of real businesses and innovations is one of the best ways to get our collective message across.