Building a sustainable UK diagnostics sector

13.00, Friday 19 March 2021

Zoom Online Workshop

On Friday 19 March 2021, the Academy of Medical Sciences' FORUM hosted a workshop on 'Building a sustainable UK diagnostics sector'.

The COVID-19 pandemic and the need for wide scale testing has, among other learnings, highlighted the ongoing need for a UK diagnostics sector that is innovative, responsive and robust enough to tackle current and future health challenges.

In October 2020, the Academy of Medical Sciences held a roundtable examining ‘The role of academia and industry in the UK’s diagnostic testing response to COVID-19’, which revealed that many of the challenges faced in the COVID-19 testing response pre-dated the pandemic. These challenges included the need for cross-sector collaboration, the ability to be agile and adapt processes, and the need for a sustainable and highly skilled workforce of innovators and scientists. In addition, the COVID-19 pandemic response has led to new investments in people and infrastructure, which could act as models or exemplars for supporting the diagnostic sector across all therapy areas beyond the pandemic.

This workshop broadened out conversations beyond COVID-19 to include all therapy areas and technologies within the in vitro diagnostics (IVD) and pathology fields, and had two main aims:

  • To consider how we might address the ongoing challenges identified at the October 2020 roundtable, including enhancing collaboration, improving infrastructure, and building a sustainable workforce to support the development, evaluation and adoption of new diagnostics in the UK. 
  • To explore which elements of the recent and ongoing pandemic testing response might be translated to build a more sustainable diagnostics sector for the future, for example by applying the newly formed collaborations, regulatory processes and infrastructure to other therapy areas.


The report of the workshop has now been published can be downloaded here and on the right hand side of this page.

Attendance at this workshop was by invitation only.

The Academy’s FORUM provides a neutral and independent platform for individuals from across academia, industry, the NHS and Government, and the charity, regulatory and wider healthcare sector, to meet and take forward national discussions on scientific opportunities, technology trends and associated strategic choices for healthcare. Find out more.



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