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Growth in medical congresses relocating as London leads the way

10 April 2014

10,000 leading international medical professionals under one roof at International Liver Congress held at ExCeL London.

The European Association for the Study of the Liver is today holding its 49th Annual Meeting at ExCeL London, bringing together an expected 10,000 leading international medical professionals under one roof.

ExCeL London has seen an upward trend in the number of medical congresses choosing to locate in London. One medical congress was held at ExCeL London in 2010. There has since been a consistent growth: 5 in 2011, 6 in 2013, 8 in 2014 and 9 confirmed for 2015 - including the world's largest medical congress held by the European Society of Cardiology, which is expected to attract 35,000 delegates .

This growing trend brings significant economic benefit to the capital. Medical meetings are the largest group of meetings in the world and are estimated to be worth £100 billion annually. The European Society of Cardiology's congress alone will bring in £120m to the capital in economic benefit.

The growth in the number of international medical congresses locating in London is testimony to the world-class exhibition facilities London provides, and corresponds with the Mayor of London's commitment to establishing the city as a global hub for medical advancement and discovery. On Tuesday (8 April) Mayor of London Boris Johnson launched MedCity, a major new initiative backed by some of the country's senior academics and business people that will transform the London-Oxford-Cambridge life sciences sector into a world beating power-cluster.

The new organisation is tasked with attracting life sciences corporations large and small to the 'golden triangle' formed by the three UK cities, facilitating collaboration between them and the UK academic research base, and reinforcing specialist infrastructure so that the region becomes one of the premier, interconnected clusters for life science research, development, manufacturing and commercialisation. 

From the discovery of penicillin and DNA to the links between lung cancer and smoking, the South East of England has been at the forefront of groundbreaking research for decades and it has many ingrained strengths that make it the natural home for European life sciences.

Seventy-one Nobel Prize Laureates have links with London universities, 48 of them scientists. Oxford University is home to 51 Nobel Prize Laureates, 32 of who are scientists while 90 affiliates of Cambridge University have been awarded the prize, 76 of which are scientists. The region is also home to six of the world's best universities. Over the last 10 years employment in life sciences has increased by 21 per cent - compared to only 12 per cent on average for all employment types.

David Pegler, CEO of ExCeL London, said: "As the UK's leading exhibition and conference centre, ExCeL London is delighted to welcome medical congresses that bring so much benefit to London, such as the International Liver Congress. By accommodating thousands of medical professionals under one roof, medical congresses act as incubators that provide the ideal environment for information sharing and spreading innovation.   

"Today London has become the place where the brightest medical minds come together to share ideas and shape the future of medicine. All of London benefits from the growth in medical congresses choosing to locate here. They bring not only economic value, but also make a contribution to medical teaching and research, and have a positive knock on effect on the wider community by raising awareness of medical issues and raising increased funding for certain areas of research that will ultimately benefit the public."

Gordon Innes, CEO of London & Partners, the Mayor's official promotional organisation for the capital, said: "Together with Oxford and Cambridge London forms a 'golden triangle' of scientific innovation and discovery. This world beating power-cluster is home to some of the finest medical and research facilities in the world. The launch of MedCity will consolidate these strengths, give them a coherent collective identity and showcase the expertise of the South East cluster as the global landing place for international businesses, investors and, of course, medical events.

"At London & Partners we are committed to securing a continuous rise in medical meetings hosted within the capital and recently launched our London Ambassador Programme to champion the city within the sector.  Through this exclusive programme we are not only creating a city-wide network of expertise, we are working in partnership with senior professionals and academics to raise London's profile internationally and help attract industry events and congresses to this city of innovation and expertise."