Leveraging the ‘Clever Stuff’ –
Jim Malloy joined Tyne and Wear Development Company (TWDC) from the Ministry of Defence (MoD) owned Defence Diversification Agency. There he was responsible for brokering two-way technology transfer between exploiters of technology – particularly in UK industry – and the MoD’s own research and technology base. He has a strong track record in inward investment, having also worked in sector development for Regional Development Agency, One North East. Jim began his career with Sony, working at its manufacturing plant in South Wales for 10 years before returning to his native North East.
Originally from an electronics background, Jim now supports several key sectors in the Region including the pharmaceutical industry. His extensive private and public sector experience has positioned him well for his role as Strategic Account Manager at T&WDC, which he has held since 2007.
‘Companies need to fully assess the new set of issues that they face, and simultaneously the range of opportunities now open to them, and reposition themselves accordingly.’ Ironically, sometimes these threats and opportunities are one and the same thing, such as the emergence of the middle class in India and China. ‘On the one hand, the emerging Asian middle classes will substantially increase demand for certain drugs. On the other, China and India are cheaper countries to manufacture in, threatening the UK supply lines. Big blockbuster manufacturing, drug discovery and New Product Development are areas in which the UK can hold its own, but there are a lot of clever graduates coming out of India and China. We can’t be complacent – we have to continuously improve faster than the competition.’
While Jim is under no illusion that the future of the North East pharmaceutical sector will be challenging, he believes that a reduction in the financial assistance available to companies will force them to operate more tactically. ‘The emergent business paradigm isn’t like the blockbuster drug days of before. Companies will be forced to move ahead incrementally, not in leaps and bounds. The trends going forward will be shaped by patent expiry and efficient bulk production. Bulk production itself will also determine the landscape by way of potential outsourcing and consolidation. Everything will be done in the name of efficiency.’
Efficiency just happens to be an area of expertise of the T&WDC, and Jim is quick to remind companies that the organisation can still offer them valuable assistance, even if it’s not always financial. ‘It’s important to remember that we can help in many important non-monetary ways: efficiency and logistics, training, new premises, networking, design and innovation, technology transfer, environmental issues – all the “clever stuff”’.
Jim believes that these services – and others – are demand led, not menu driven. ‘Support must now be issue driven. It must be strategic. In addition, we’re keen to develop and strengthen our levels of trust within the relationships we build. TWDC is a single gateway to all the support that’s available to pharma companies in the area, both directly from ourselves and via partners, including UKTI, NAS, NEPIC, CPI, CELS and MAS. For the companies’ sakes we’re anxious to maintain this, otherwise they’ll have to go around all the different bodies and agencies individually. What we can offer them is carefully structured and purpose-driven assistance in a joined up way.’
Jim welcomes the recent announcement by government that the region’s Centre for Process Innovation is part of a consortium which will run the High Value Manufacturing Technology and Innovation Centre (TIC), which will be funded to research the economic potential for new technology.
‘It’s fantastic news for the region. The TIC announcement recognises the world-class expertise in process technology and advanced manufacturing in the North East. This key part of the UK economy will be driven by closer collaboration between industry and the very best of academia, and has the potential to secure jobs and prosperity for decades to come’.
TWDC is a business development and relocation company offering independent advice on all aspects of expansion or relocation within Tyne and Wear, representing the five Tyne and Wear local authorities – Gateshead, Newcastle, North Tyneside, South Tyneside and Sunderland.