A delegation from the North of England is heading to the world’s largest biotech conference in San Francisco this week – the first time the region’s life science sector has worked together to promote its brands on the global stage.

The BIO International Convention (BIO) starts today and attracts over 15,000 biotechnology and pharma leaders. This event covers a wide spectrum of life science and application areas including drug discovery, nanotechnology and cell therapy.

Influential, the marketing agency based in Manchester and Liverpool, collaborated with Bionow, the North of England industry group, to organise the project.

Influential director Chris Hulme

Influential director Chris Hulme

The delegation is led by Alderley Park (pictured above), which is the North of England’s largest life science campus and part of Manchester Science Partnerships. The Northern Health Science Alliance Ltd, the drug development company Redx Pharma Plc, the Manchester Academic Health Science Centre and research specialists Aptus Clinical also feature in the US delegation.

Chris Hulme, a director at Influential, said: “Our job is to promote the North of England as an attractive and competitive centre for international businesses to set up operations here for research, development and manufacturing.

“The UK has identified life science as a priority area but we felt the story has been very much about Oxford, Cambridge and London. We want to say world class science happens in the North. It seems fitting to do this in 2016 as Manchester is the European City of Science.”

Dr Hakim Yadi, chief executive of the Northern Health Science Alliance, will be showcasing the Northern Powerhouse offering with a BIO presentation hosted by UK Trade and Industry (UKTI).

Other Powerhouse events include a panel debate with Scrip Intelligence, one of the world’s leading life science publishers, which is producing a supplement about the North.

Rowena Burns, chief executive of Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP), added: “This wider North of England initiative at BIO is very welcome. We share a responsibility to speak for the North and to explain the significant competitive advantages our region offers.”