In Innovation, News

One of the country’s leading healthcare professionals has joined the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) to drive forward the region’s innovative health and life sciences sector.

Dr Teresa Fortune, an experienced research manager from Whitley Bay, North Tyneside, has been appointed Health and Life Sciences Programme Lead at the North East LEP.

Tasked with aiding the economic development of the North East by supporting growth in the life sciences and healthcare sector, Teresa has a wealth of experience in the field having held senior positions at the National Institute for Health Research and One North East.

Teresa said: “Health and life sciences is identified as a key growth area for the North East because we already hold a diverse range of specialisms. Our region’s universities are world leading and our thriving pharmaceutical industry adds over £1 billion to the national economy, exporting over 85% of its output.”

“We want to build on our knowledge and reputation by investing in the sector to create more and better jobs here in the North East.

“It’s a very exciting time to be joining the North East LEP, particularly following the launch of our refreshed strategic economic plan for the region. The health and life sciences sector provides a huge opportunity in terms of economic growth and job creation, helping us to achieve our aim to create 100,000 more and better jobs for the North East economy by 2024.

“I’m looking forward to working with central government to ensure the region’s strengths in this sector are a core part of the UK’s wider industrial strategy.”

One of Teresa’s first roles as Health and Life Sciences Programme Lead was to Chair an event on Thursday 23 November with partners from across the region to look at two new reports from First for Pharma and BioCity detailing regional assets and opportunities within the sector. The meeting discussed the opportunities and challenges for the health and life sciences economy in the North East of England.

After graduating from the University of Glasgow with a PhD in Molecular Genetics, Teresa went on to work for a number of public and private organisations including Cels Ltd (now Bionow) and the North East England’s regional development agency, One North East.

In her role at One North East, Teresa championed a new approach to the healthcare pillar of the Regional Economic Strategy as well as being technical lead for healthcare.

Before joining the North East LEP, Teresa held a number of roles within the National Institute for Health Research Coordinating Centre. As Head of Commercial Business Development and Marketing, Teresa lead a team who worked with global companies to bring cutting edge clinical research into the NHS. In her position as Portfolio Lead she lead a broad range of activities specific to the national management and performance of clinical research delivery, working across all stakeholders, including the NHS, the academic and clinical community, funders of research, patients and their families.

Helen Golightly, Executive Director at the North East LEP said: “Teresa’s skills and experience make her the perfect person to lead our work around health and life sciences. She’s worked in the region for a number of years and has an excellent knowledge of the healthcare cluster in the North East. We’re delighted to welcome her to the team.”

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