Sarah Haywood was instrumental in conceiving and setting up MedCity, first as Head of Life Sciences at London & Partners, the Mayor of London’s promotional agency for the capital, and then as MedCity’s Chief Operating Officer.
Now promoted to Chief Executive Officer in recognition of the range and responsibility of her role, Sarah talks about her experiences with MedCity so far.
How did you first get involved with MedCity?
By chance – London & Partners asked me to help them shape their work on life sciences. There was some work to be done to help launch MedCity; I thought there was a need to turn the concept into reality, so I rolled up my sleeves and started to work out how to get MedCity off the ground.
What appealed to you about it?
As someone who has worked in the NHS, in the pharma industry and as a policy maker, I could see the potential opportunity to join everything up. I also love the science – you are constantly learning new things.
What have been the highlights since the launch in April 2014?
Making things happen, quickly. We have found some wonderful partners too – too many to name, you know who you are – but mostly I feel proud that we have already got MedCity into the consciousness of so many people and organisations.
Has anything surprised you?
Not surprised, but I am excited by the opportunity that digital technology has to transform care provision. A few years ago no-one had heard of digital health and now there is a vibrant community of entrepreneurs pushing to bring tech solutions to the NHS. I really hope we can help to open the doors to adoption, diffusion and procurement.
What are your ambitions for it over the coming years?
Anyone who ever listens to me bang on about real estate will know that I would love to see some MedCity incubation, co-location and innovation space that mixes up all different approaches to life sciences. I would also love to see more risk capital flowing through London into healthcare and life sciences companies. If we can achieve that, I will feel that we have made a difference. Actually, there are so many things I would like to see happen that I could write a book about it.
What do you like to do in your spare time?
Baking, then eating the fruits of my labour; I am a ski addict too
What’s your signature dish?
Fruit cakes and Christmas pudding – anything Christmassy – I make my own mincemeat too
What’s the last film you watched?
What gadget can’t you live without?
Kettle – I live on an endless supply of tea; possibly the corkscrew…
What’s your favourite holiday destination?