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AstraZeneca's Chris Brinsmead and ex-health minister Lord Darzi appointed ambassadors for UK lifescience

Published on: 15/12/09

AstraZeneca UK’s chairman Chris Brinsmead and former health minister Lord Ara Darzi are among six newly appointed private sector business ambassadors appointed by Prime Minister Gordon Brown.

They will support the government in promoting UK life science excellence internationally and their appointment brings the number of UK Business Ambassadors to 24.

The UK represents 3 %of the global pharmaceutical market, but attracts 10% of all R&D. The UK life sciences sector employs over 400,000. Five of the world’s top 20 medicines were discovered in the UK - and in 2007, the UK exported pharmaceuticals worth £14.6 billion, creating a £3.4 billion surplus for the UK economy.

The Business Ambassadors Network was created in October 2008, with a particular focus on helping small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs), which sometimes face greater barriers to accessing global markets than larger businesses.

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said: “Since the UK Business Ambassadors network was set up just over a year ago, its members have carried out over 70 international engagements in some 25 different markets, promoting British trade across the globe and playing an important role in championing UK business.

“I am delighted that a further six leaders from business and academia will be joining the team, promoting our businesses and working with them to develop opportunities worldwide and boost growth.

The other new business ambassadors are: chairman of IBM Europe, Middle East and North Africa Larry Hirst, chairman of the UK Atomic Energy Authority Lady Barbara Judge, Vice-Chancellor Aston University and author of the King Review of low carbon transport Professor Julia King and chairman of the London Design Festival and co-chair of the Sorrell Foundation Sir John Sorrell.

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