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Leading Life Science

September 29, 2016


To start things off, could you give us an overview of your organisation and what you do. Based in Cambridge in the UK, One Nucleus is the largest membership organisation for the life science and healthcare sector in Europe and provide practical support to our members. Importantly, we are not-forprofit and have 500 organisations as members.

About 80% of our members are based in the Cambridge/London corridor, an area that is home to at least 60% of the UK’s life science industry base and is at the heart of Europe’s largest life science and healthcare cluster.

Our members range from large corporates such as MedImmune, AstraZeneca and Amgen through to tiny start-ups, and everything in between! Our mission is to help our members maximise their global competitiveness and we have a deep international focus.
How does it feel to have received two GHP Awards? Here at One Nucleus the team and I are thrilled to have won two GHP Awards, especially because they are peer reviewed by the international community:

• Best Global Life Sciences Membership Organisation and; • European Life Sciences & Healthcare NPO of the Year 2016.

The commitment and innovation of our fantastic membership drives me and the team to do our very best for and with them. For One Nucleus to have been recognised as the Best Global Life Sciences Membership Organisation in particular, against stiff competition, is hugely motivational for us and we look forward to continuing to serve our members to the very best of our ability and highest standards possible.

What healthcare areas do you specialise in? We focus across the life science and healthcare space as that is what our members are broadly involved in. In terms of our work, we support our science and technology based members being global leaders in the research, development and commercialisation of healthcare innovations that radically improve the quality of people’s lives around the world. For our business and professional services members, it means us helping them to deliver exceptional services that significantly enhance the business performance of their clients.

On the whole, our entire focus is on providing practical and tangible services for our members. We run major conferences in the UK (including the much
appreciated Genesis Conference in December every year in London for 800 delegates), smaller networking events, therapy focused events (for example focusing on oncology; respiratory; vaccines; personalised healthcare; CNS and many more besides – bringing communities together).

We also run a large training programme both for specialists and non-specialists in the sector, manage a major Purchasing Consortium (which sees many of our members making significant financial savings on supplies) and a host of other activities – including digging deep into thorny issues with our ON Insights initiative – a series of intentionally small workshops with key members to debate and get under the skin of matters affecting members which we then profile to our 10,000 plus strong database.

What do you hold the success of your organisation down to? We are an incredibly collaborative organisation – where that collaboration will be of benefit to our members – remembering that mission all the time! One of our core objectives is not to duplicate what others do well and we publicly support a range of other organisations in the UK who are working in the sector.

In terms of how we differentiate ourselves – this is something of which I am especially proud – I would wager that our international focus makes us stand out. One Nucleus thinks like its members do – globally. Most of what we do has an international focus to it – whether it be us having signed relationship agreements with the four major US membership organisations for the sector (including MassBIO), or hosting a steady stream of visiting groups of companies from other parts of the world to meet with and collaborate with our members. My background as a British Diplomat for 21 years comes into play here often – I was pretty much born global myself and this runs through the One Nucleus team.

How is your organisation performing at present? We absolutely love what we do and are fortunate to have had the same team for many years now which is great testament to the company in my view. There have been five babies born in that time and three of the team have returned from maternity leave into roles back in the company – which is fantastic for us as we keep the team members expertise and enthusiasm. Our membership continues to grow and our international recognition never ceases to surprise and please me. We clearly are doing something right!

One Nucleus is an international membership organisation for companies working within the life science and healthcare industry. We caught up with Harriet Fear, Chief Executive at One Nucleus, to find out more about what they do and how they are one of the leading life sciences and healthcare organisations in Europe.

What role do your staff play in the successes of your firm? Our team is absolutely key to our success. We have a very clear vision and mission and a trajectory that all the team support and work to deliver to. Most of the team has a strong creative background and we all take great pleasure in working with and for our members.

What do you see as an activity that has had national or international impact at One Nucleus? In 2014, I was approached by the office of the British Prime Minister and asked if I would like to be a Business Ambassador for the UK. This is a voluntary role and sees me promoting the UK life science and healthcare sector internationally. There are only four Business Ambassadors in the UK for No 10 so it was a huge honour to be asked to undertake this important role.

My activities so far (I have just accepted to extend in the role for a further two years) have included leading a trade mission to India, briefing numerous visiting international dignitaries and supporting the British Government with their trade and investment strategy. I genuinely believe I was asked to undertake this role because of the strength of the One Nucleus membership – after all, we would not exist without them!

What role have you and your company played in shaping the future of the healthcare sector? The future protection of the sector is of course vital. Our Genesis conference regularly takes the future as its theme and we are fortunate to have incredible Key Opinion Leaders speak at the Conference (http://www., discussing, unearthing and unleashing the matters of importance to the sector in terms of remaining robust into the future.

What events does your organisation have in the pipeline? Our second major conference is our ON Helix (translational research conference) that we host in Cambridge each Summer. The early stage translational research phase is an area that many of our members excel in and we are keen to promote that on the world stage. This year we were incredibly fortunate to have some fantastic keynote speakers including: Dr Susan Windham-Bannister, the ex-President of the Mass Life Sciences Center (responsible for the Governor of Mass’s $1 billion life sciences programme). We also had Sir John Savill, CEO of the MRC, Professor David Roblin, COO of the Crick Institute, Jane Osbourn, site leader of MedImmune and Nick Lemoine of NIHR.

Last year’s event was an astounding success, with many complimentary comments from those attended. Among those was Sir Mike Rawlins, ex Chair of Eastern AHSN, President of the Royal Society of Medicine now Chair of MHRA, who said: “ON Helix is THE translational event in the UK where all participants can expect to network at the highest level with each other and learn an incredible amount all in the one day. It’s terrific!”

In a similar vein, Sir William Castell, (at the time the Chair of the Wellcome Trust) commented: “ON Helix was a great day, very well attended and with a fantastic speakers’ line-up. It shows the importance of addressing translational research topics amongst the life sciences community. Importantly it is a great showcase for the strength of biomedical innovation in the southeast of England. “

Looking ahead, what challenges does you face in the future, in terms of the company you work for, and the industry you work in? Whilst it is likely fair to say that we are currently seeing a ‘Golden age’ of biotech, it is never good to rest on one’s laurels. There are challenges continuously for the sector but from what the team and I have witnessed, it has never been easy for life science and healthcare companies! The sector is jam packed with highly entrepreneurial, strong, intellectual people who want to make a difference in the world and who are ready to face the challenges head on and that will, I hope, never change.

Thank you so much for your time. Is there anything else you would like to add? In June this year I was delighted to be honoured with an MBE in the Queen’s Birthday Honours List for my services to the healthcare and life sciences sector. As I made clear at the time, I firmly believe I would not be or have been on any award radar without the strength and brilliant global importance and impact of our membership.

Company: One Nucleus Limited

Name: Harriet Fear

Email: [email protected]

Web Address:

Address: One Nucleus, the Portway, Granta Park, Cambridge, UK, CB21 6GS

Telephone: 01223 896 454

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+44 (0) 203 725 6847