The spotlight will be firmly fixed on the life sciences sector in Wales next week as BioWales 2013 opens its doors to an international audience, with delegates flying in from the USA, Cuba, China and Europe as well as the UK.

More than 500 delegates are expected to descend on the Wales Millennium Centre for the two day event (March 19 – 20), which is now in its eleventh year and is one of the UK’s largest life sciences conference and brokerage event held outside London.

Business Minister Edwina Hart said BioWales offered a great opportunity to showcase the expertise of the sector in Wales – work being carried out both in industry and academic research centres.

“We are also using the event to promote Wales as an excellent location for businesses working in this sector,” said Edwina Hart.

“Life sciences is one of our key economic sectors with potential for high growth and our focus is on business growth and commercial success. We strive to create the right environment for business and have a track record of actively helping companies locate, expand and prosper in Wales.

“As a Government we are committed to supporting the sector and its strategy for growth. Over the past year we have offered funding support to a diverse range of businesses working across the sector – from SMEs to multinationals – while later this year the first investments will be made from the £100million Wales Life Sciences Investment Fund to support and develop the sector in Wales.

“We will be stepping up our international trade programme this year and I am delighted to hear BioWales is attracting delegates from a number of our key markets where we have been actively promoting the sector.”

The links between NHS, industry and academia in delivering tomorrow’s health solutions is a key focus of the conference and exhibition that brings together leaders from the healthcare community. Delegates will also hear how devolved administrations such as the Welsh Government and NHS Wales are working together to support the life science industry agenda.

BioWales 2013 will include a conference programme with guest speakers, researchers and industry leaders. Workshop sessions will also provide expert advice on business opportunities in a number of international markets including China, Cuba and the USA.

The one-to-one technology brokerage event where potential collaborations, licensing and manufacturing deals are discussed is proving to be extremely popular, with more than 200 meeting requests registered to date.

Last minute registrations for BioWales can still be made via the website www.biowales.com