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HUMANITIES SCIENCE POLITICS

Science, People & Politics ISSN 1751-598x, 25th November, 2016. 18.00 GMT

ALDERLEY PARK FEATURE | 7

Helen Gavaghan reports from Alderley Science Park South of
Manchester in the UK as it seeks entry into one of the smartest,
toughest entrepreneurial leagues in today's world.

We had agreed through press officers and public relations I
would interview the director of scientific services and, at the
end of the day, Chris Doherty, managing director of Alderley Park. For
three years Alderley has been emerging from the shadow of Astra
Zeneca, the pharmaceutical giant which until 2014 occupied the location
with its global R&D and some corporate functions.

Between these interviews the plan was I take a tour and talk with
companies and organisations, from BioHub members to the Medicines
Discovery Catapult (a UK government initiative), on the site. BioHub
seeks to become a go-to location for early stage and start-up biotech,
biomedical science or biologically-based businesses in the UK, and to
attract overseas tenants. The latter wants UK leadership on both
national and international stages.

In the event I toured Alderley, but met neither director scheduled.
Possibly the scientific director was a provisional arrangement, and I
have no reservations about the professionalism and insight of the
alternate interviewee. By contrast being stood up by the MD and failure
of a proposed telephone exchange instead is professionally concerning.
For two reasons: first an MD has authority and knowledge to correct
innocently acquired misunderstandings about their patch. Secondly
because 7,000 on-site jobs are at stake. 3,500 already in place, the rest
due to come into existence soon. The depth, breadth and sophistication
of political effort needed to pull that result from the fire when Astra
Zeneca decided to shift its R&D to Cambridge must have been huge.

From the molten core of multi-billion dollar behemoth, with its inter-
national fiduciary responsibilities (think pension companies, hedge funds
and asset managers), in a global industrial sector fracturing and re-
making itself, amid a science undergoing a Kuhnian revolution in physio
logical understanding, Alderley Park is emerging.

Continued on page 8...

Issue 4 (October - December), 2016. Volume VII. Science, People & Politics ISSN 1751-598x.

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CONTENTS

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Published Friday 25th November, 2016

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A print version would additionally have two blank pages, so this version is not routinely for sale as print, unless really wanted.

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