The biotech boom: considerations for sustained sector growth

Biotechnology is continuing to grow and, in doing so, is improving both quality of life and the environment. In this article we look in more detail at the current state of the biotech industry.

3 mins read
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24 Apr, 2024

​In recent years, the World has witnessed a remarkable resurgence in the biotech sector.

This surge is reshaping the landscape of life sciences –growing from USD 366.7 billion in 2022 to USD 412.2 billion in 2023. Recent developments in biotech innovation address some of the world’s most pressing challenges, from human health to environmental degradation, to food security.

Biotech growth in the world

Scientists are making great leaps in gene-editing technology – heralding a new era of possibilities in enhancing cell research and, ultimately, curing infectious diseases.

One exciting venture is the Synthetic Yeast Genome Project, the creation of synthetic versions of all the organism’s chromosomes. This breakthrough has paved the way for designer yeasts with metabolic pathways tailored to make biofuels from diverse materials.

This example shows the sector has come a long way – creating a strong foothold for innovation. There will always be challenges. These challenges include the need for strong financial support, top research institutions, a thriving startup environment, and skilled scientists and researchers.

Biotech companies in Cambridge, Oxford, and London are using advanced technology to solve important scientific problems, leading to new job opportunities.

Developing a highly skilled industry

Let’s look at two key job roles needed to continue the sector’s growth.

Molecular biologists, especially those with expertise in cell line engineering, are crucial for the development of robust and reliable cell models that are essential for drug discovery, therapeutic protein production, and understanding complex biological processes. Their ability to manipulate and optimize cell lines can significantly accelerate research and development timelines.

Specialist bioinformaticians play a pivotal role in managing and interpreting the vast amounts of data generated by modern biotechnological processes. Their skills in data analysis, algorithm development, and computational biology are indispensable for translating raw data into meaningful insights, thus driving innovation and progress in the field.

Together, these experts contribute to the cutting-edge advancements that define the biotech industry and are needed to keep businesses on an upward trajectory.

Gene-editing leading the way

At the forefront of this biotech revolution is gene-editing technology, which holds immense promise in curing infections and revolutionizing cell research. Nobel prize-winning CRISPR tech, in particular, has emerged as a powerful tool for precisely modifying genes, offering unprecedented opportunities to address genetic diseases and develop new theories around treatment.

Gene editing’s impact on infection treatment is profound. It offers the potential to drive out persistent viral infections like the aforementioned HIV, presenting new options in the fight to find cures. Its role in combating the Covid-19 pandemic also highlights the versatility and promise of gene-editing as an antiviral modality.

By precisely targeting and disabling viral genes, researchers are paving the way for advanced treatments that could render once-deadly infections manageable or even curable.

The power of investment

While the potential of gene-editing technology and other biotech innovations is undeniable, the discussion will once again turn to investment to keep advancing research. As the boundaries of scientific innovation are pushed, extensive life sciences funding can drive several positive outcomes, including:

  • Research and development: increased investment enables biotech companies to accelerate their research and development efforts. Scientists can explore novel therapies, diagnostics, and technologies that address critical health and environmental challenges.

  • Clinical trials: funding supports clinical trials, allowing promising treatments to advance from the lab to real-world applications. These trials are essential for validating safety and effectiveness.

  • Job creation: a thriving biotech sector creates jobs across various disciplines, including research, manufacturing, engineering, and product development. Employment opportunities contribute to economic stability.

It’s worth noting that once investment is secured, there needs to be substantial collaboration between academics, industry leaders, and personnel at regulatory bodies to help steer towards scientific breakthroughs, economic prosperity, and global influence.

Looking ahead

Harnessing the collective expertise and skill of the biotech community could lead to an opportunity to redefine cell research and provide universal access to life-saving treatments. This means that policymakers hoping to boost the biotech industry need to listen to the wants and needs of the sector, including the importance of R&D tax credits for research-intensive startups, the ongoing availability of patient capital, and the need for funding and facilities that can be scaled up when necessary.

Looking for your next hire or considering your next career move in the scientific space? Contact our specialist consultants today.

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Employee monitoring: a guide to best practices
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​Employee monitoring can help ensure productivity and accountability among employees, as managers can track their work progress and identify areas where improvement is needed. Monitoring enhances data security by detecting and preventing unauthorised access or data breaches and additionally, it enables you to adhere to regulatory and compliance requirements, reducing legal risks. 

The key thing to remember is that workplace surveillance is perfectly acceptable, as long as you can legally justify your reasons, and it is always better to be ‘overt’, not ‘covert’.  

A report shows that despite normality returning to working life post-pandemic, demand for employee surveillance software is 49% above 2019 levels. 

Our eBook, ‘Employee monitoring: a guide to best practices’, provides insight from top experts in the field including:    

Keith Rosser, Director of Group Risk and Reed Screening, Reed 

Hayfa Mohdzaini, Senior Research Adviser, CIPD

 By downloading this eBook, you will discover:   

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“Monitoring software that employees see as intrusive and unnecessary is more likely to erode mutual trust in the employment relationship. Employers need to show how using monitoring software can benefit employees, while respecting their privacy.” -Hayfa Mohdzaini, Senior Research Adviser, CIPD.

Workplace monitoring: guidance for your organisation
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In the past, workplace monitoring was relatively simplistic: employers relied on visual supervision and basic timekeeping systems, and the concept of privacy was limited.

Fast forward to the digital age. Employee monitoring has reached new levels of sophistication and become common practice for employers seeking to boost productivity, enhance security, and ensure compliance with regulations.

Improved productivity and deeper insights

With the advancement of technology, including GPS tracking, computer monitoring software, and biometric identification systems, surveillance can provide employers with detailed insights into employee activities and performance.

One of the key benefits of employee monitoring is the ability to track and improve productivity levels. By monitoring employees' activities, employers can identify inefficiencies, analyse workflow processes, and provide targeted feedback to enhance performance. This data-driven approach allows companies to optimise their operations, allocate resources effectively, and ultimately improve their bottom line.

Monitoring can also help employers identify and address issues such as time theft, excessive breaks, and unauthorised activities in the workplace. With real-time monitoring tools, employers can detect irregularities and take corrective actions promptly, therefore improving accountability and integrity among employees.

Employee monitoring can also aid in compliance with regulations and industry standards. By keeping a close eye on electronic communications, websites visited, and files accessed, employers can ensure that employees adhere to data protection laws, maintain confidentiality, and comply with company policies. This proactive approach minimises the risk of data breaches and security incidents and also protects the company from potential legal liabilities.

Balancing surveillance and ethics

Despite the clear advantages of employee monitoring, it is crucial for organisations to approach this practice with sensitivity and respect for staff privacy. As a matter of course, employers should establish clear policies regarding monitoring practices, communicate openly with employees about the purpose and scope of monitoring, and ensure transparency in the use of monitoring tools.

Prioritise the protection of sensitive employee data by implementing robust security measures, restricting access to monitoring data, and complying with data protection regulations such as GDPR. These considerations can ease employees’ minds about any surveillance and even instil appreciation for such measures. After all, workplace security is in everyone’s best interests.

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Talent development

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With skills shortages affecting a large number of sectors, employers that provide a platform for eager individuals to gain paid experience, help ease the pressures many businesses – and professionals – are facing.

Innovation and fresh perspectives

Interns can inject new and exciting perspectives and ideas into the workplace, which can see campaigns thrive and strategies become more impactful. By recognizing that diversity fuels creativity, seeking interns who bring unique insights and approaches to problem-solving will help to enhance the overall creativity and adaptability of the organization.

Introducing different perspectives into your workplace provides a fresh take on the business as a whole. Even though interns won't be responsible for creating new policies or planning a strategy, their outside opinion may improve existing practices.

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Social responsibility and diversity

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Brand image enhancement

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Helping the next generation

There’s a bigger picture to internship programs. Many individuals, especially recent graduates, may face challenges when embarking on a new career path. Those lucky enough to win internships will reap the benefits that come from the experience, not just in adding to their CV, but in self-confidence gained from developing knowledge of their chosen profession, all while making valuable contacts.

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