Dr. Forsyth, who is known for her scientific and financial expertise and as an open innovation practitioner, will lead SBC through its next phase of expansion.
“Everyone talks about board and sector leadership diversity – here we see another excellent female CEO appointed and are proud to have been involved in this search,” said Bianca Coulter, CEO of Coulter Partners.
Since 2013, Dr. Forsyth has been CEO of Norwich Research Park, a life science cluster of world leading academics, researchers and clinicians which is now home to over 80 companies. Earlier, she was the first director for Harwell Oxford, where she was responsible for the establishment of the Harwell Enterprise Zone, inward investment by De Beers and the European Space Agency complemented by the establishment of the UK Space Satellite Catapult Center. She was also director of Colworth Science Park. Dr. Forsyth began her career with Unilever where she held a range of roles across venture capital, technology licensing and alliance management. She holds a doctorate in molecular biology from Cambridge University and is a qualified chartered global management accountant.
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“With her extensive experience across a range of science parks, a focus on collaborative culture and a track record in attracting finance, Sally Ann is ideally placed to drive SBC through its next phase of development,” said Ian Tomlinson, independent chairman of SBC. “We are delighted to welcome her to the team, and look forward to working with her. I thank the Coulter Partners team for their exceptional work in achieving this high caliber appointment.”
Dr. Forsyth pointed out how quickly her new employer has grown into a major player in the life sciences sector. “In its six years since inception SBC has developed into a leading UK bioincubator and hub of life sciences innovation,” she said. “Having established a unique blend of high-growth companies, academic interactions and cornerstone tenants such as LifeArc and the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult Manufacturing Centre, it is ready for the next phase of growth.”
Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst is the U.K.’s first open innovation biomedical campus, bringing together the creativity and expertise of biotechs, pharma, investors and researchers.
Coulter Partners is a global search specialist focused exclusively on life sciences and trusted adviser to the sector on senior leadership roles in the American, U.K. and European Markets.”Recently, Coulter made seven new appointments in the U.S., Switzerland, Germany and London.
Tapping Outside Talent for Life Science and Healthcare
For these top 50 executive recruiters working in the life science and healthcare sectors, the last decade has been one of transformation. Pressure on pricing, regulatory changes, emerging innovations, growth, and an uncertain political environment have all helped shape a new field of play.
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Life Sciences Sector
According to Deloitte’s global sector outlook report on life sciences, persistent talent shortages and the need to develop and retain employees with critical business and technology skill-sets will continue to challenge global life sciences companies as they try to navigate a new world of work. This will require a dramatic change in strategies for leadership, talent and human resources.
“Our sector has changed beyond anyone’s expectations over the last two decades,” said Ms. Coulter. “We need to understand the appetites and needs of the major multinationals. This requires reach into all corners of the market. While our office network is growing, the key has been to have multilingual, multi-market experienced and connected researchers and consultants. Our team speaks many languages and has worked in all major bio-pharma markets and is organized as one P&L, to ensure collaborative information and experience sharing.”
The sector has recently enjoyed a healthy stream of consistent investment for the development of new therapies for unmet medical needs. “This spans the entire gamut of existing therapeutic areas from CNS, respiratory, immunology and inflammation to oncology, hematology, ophthalmology and rare diseases,” said Helga Long, a life sciences search specialist at ZRG Partners. She noted that there is a need and reliance on the biotech sector for innovation and early science, and this has led to a surge of investment in biotech start-ups. “All of these segments now require world class leadership,” said Ms. Long.
Contributed by Scott A. Scanlon, Editor-in-Chief; Dale M. Zupsansky, Managing Editor; Stephen Sawicki, Managing Editor; and Will Schatz, Managing Editor – Hunt Scanlon Media