Sector-focused business roundtables

Business-Led Sector Roundtables

The Thames Valley Chamber’s well established, business-led sector roundtables showcase the strength and depth of the Life Sciences and Technology sectors in the region. The primary purpose of these invitation-only events is to provide a forum for participants to debate the challenges and opportunities they are experiencing in their sector, to identify and implement appropriate strategies to address and realise these respectively, and, ultimately, to work towards ensuring that the Thames Valley remains a great place for both life sciences and technology companies to do business.

Life Sciences Roundtables

The Thames Valley region is at the heart of the wider ‘Golden Triangle’, which links Oxford with London and Cambridge – one of the densest clusters in Europe, comparable to international super-clusters such as the one in Massachusetts.

The life sciences roundtable series is chaired by Simon Greenstreet of Bayer and attended by senior representatives from life sciences companies across the region, including corporates, SMEs, new and established inward investors; Government; Local Enterprise Partnerships, academia; and the NHS. Topics previously discussed have included skills; links between education and business and improving connectivity between corporates and start-up companies.

During the most recent event in the series, keynote speaker, Harjinder Kang, Director Healthcare, Life Sciences & Bio Economy, Department for International Trade, outlined the UK Government’s priorities in delivering the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy and Sector Deal and how Thames Valley life sciences organisations can get involved.  Roundtable participants also provided an update on the aims, objectives, challenges and aspirations of the group.

Life Sciences Partnership

Following a Life Sciences Roundtable discussion in 2018, the Thames Valley Life Sciences Partnership was established at the invitation of Government, in order to contribute proposals to the Life Sciences Sector Deal, part of the Government’s Industrial Strategy. The Partnership is coordinated by Thames Valley Chamber and is also chaired by Simon Greenstreet. The roundtable series supports and contributes to the work of the Partnership, whose members are drawn from roundtable participants.

The strength of the Thames Valley’s Life Sciences sector, including the work of the Partnership, was highlighted in the UK Government’s Life Sciences Sector Deal 2.

Technology Roundtables

The Digital Technology sector is one of the Thames Valley’s high-growth, high value-add sectors, whose strength measurably contributes to the economy of a region which is frequently referred to as the ‘Silicon Valley of Europe’.

The business-lead Technology Roundtable series is chaired by IQE’s Phil Smith, former Chief Executive and Chairman of Cisco UK and Ireland and brings together senior leaders from a select number of the region’s established and most recent investors, high-growth SMEs, and spin-out and start-up organisations in the technology sector.

Themes discussed to date have included: skills and talent, infrastructure, and inward investment and futureproofing the technology sector in the region.

The latest in the series of technology roundtables provided the occasion for delegates to discuss the challenges that face technology businesses operating in the Thames Valley, including productivity, connectivity and maintaining our position in the global market. Immediate concerns identified included managing Brexit, the future of trade, smarter national infrastructure and tech talent. Actions needed to address these challenges and futureproof this key sector in the region were also considered. 

“The business-led technology roundtables, hosted by the Chamber, bring together technology companies from across the Thames Valley, from start-ups to large corporates. The session topics are always relevant to what is happening in the tech industry, providing the perfect opportunity to showcase the great work and initiatives taking place in the region. Discussions result in tangible action points, which are geared towards ensuring the continued growth of the Thames Valley’s influential technology base. It is a fantastic series of events to be a part of.”
Phil Smith, former Chief Executive and Chairman of Cisco UK and Ireland and, Chair of the Technology Roundtables