Terry McAuliffe, governor of Virginia

We have all the relevant assets in Virginia: very low taxes, low regulation, we incentivise businesses through our research and development tax credit and refundable capital gains, and we have great universities – University of Virginia, Virginia Tech, George Mason University and Old Dominion University.

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I get out of bed every day and, as the governor of Virginia, I compete against 49 other states and 200 countries around the globe. It is a global economy, [and] we compete against everybody, but we have assets in Virginia that others do not have. We are close to NIH [the National Institutes of Health, an agency of the US Department of Heath and Human Services], we have the Defence Advanced Research Projects Agency and we have the Food and Drug Administration.

You can land at Dulles International Airport and, within 30 kilometres, you can find all the key players in the bio space, all of which are investing and coming up with great new ideas.

Kim Guadagno, lieutenant governor of New Jersey

We have 14 of the top 20 [global] biopharmaceutical companies in New Jersey, we have 3100 life science companies here and, importantly, we welcome companies in the life science area. We are looking forward to bringing more companies to New Jersey and growing them here.

We hope to attract more companies from South America and China; any emerging markets [are of interest]. I do not think [that emerging markets] are competitors. New Jersey has more scientists and engineers per square mile than any other place in the world. We also have a tax programme here that attracts companies to the state, so I look at it as an opportunity, not as a competition.

According to the New York Times, [the new incentives programme launched in New Jersey in 2013] is one of the most lucrative, if not the most lucrative, in the country. In fact, if you locate your company in Trenton, Camden, Passaic or Patterson you could almost move here for free.

Dominick Murray, Maryland secretary of business and economic development

I think investors would be very interested in Maryland because we lead the US in university-conducted life sciences research per capita, thanks to John Hopkins University, and thanks to the University of Maryland's biotech centre. The US Chamber of Commerce has named Maryland number one in innovation and entrepreneurship for the past three years, so that is just a starting point and, once people are interested in investing in Maryland, companies can come and talk to us. 

One of the things that we have done to inspire investment is create the Invest Maryland Programme. We have a whole fund... $84m of funding from the state to help match investments into innovative companies in Maryland.

We are all about making connections [with emerging markets]. We have a dedicated international sales force, we have led missions to India, China, Vietnam, Brazil, Israel and Jordan. In fact, the most recent trip that the governor took to Brazil netted $200m of investment into the state of Maryland.

Jacques Daoust, Quebec's minister of the economy, innovation and exports

The population of Quebec is just 8 million, so you cannot expect it to be everything to everybody, so we decided to be good in life sciences. Being good means that, for small population, we have 400 companies specialising in the field, with more than 25,000 people working in life sciences, [out of which] more than 10,000 work in research and development.

We account for more than 50% of the [life sciences companies in] Canada, while we represent 23% of the population and we have just recently completed two university labs [at McGill University and at Montreal University] that cost us more than $350m each.

I do not see [emerging markets] as growing competition. The concern we have is in the intellectual property area. If you do not have very stringent rules on intellectual property, I am not sure [companies] are ready to [invest]. So all emerging markets, emerging countries in life science, will have to assure the rest of the planet that they are serious about that.

Peter Egardt, governor of Uppsala, Sweden

Uppsala, together with Stockholm, [is responsible for] about 50% of the growth of Swedish GDP each year, and we account for about 65% of the biotech and life sciences industries and research in Sweden. We have a number of world-leading universities, with Karolinska Institute in Stockholm, Royal Institute of Technology, Stockholm University, Uppsala University and Swedish National University of Agriculture, so there is a cluster of very high-quality universities with a large number of students and research fellows.

[Also] we are building a new biotech cluster with a lot of financing from the government and from private business.

Emerging markets are big markets for Swedish companies, Swedish ideas and what we create. We have been quite successful with big pharmaceuticals and pharmaceutical research for a long, long time, and I think that we are very good at [research on] infectious diseases, and there is a demand for that all over the world, especially in the developing countries.

Eliot Forster, CEO of MedCity, UK

MedCity is a consortium that runs from Oxford in the west through London and to Cambridge in the east and is designed to drive the economy of the south-eastern part of the UK through life sciences. There is a richness of opportunity in London, but you have to know how to find it. It is also true that if you extend beyond London to Oxford and Cambridge, everything you might need for a life sciences organisation, life sciences research and new technologies, exists in that region. It is about being able to find it, and that is part of what we are trying to help with.

I think emerging markets are both [potential partners and potential competitors]. One of the things we are trying to do is to make it clear to emerging markets and science in emerging markets what opportunities there are in the MedCity constituency. But we are also recognising that emerging markets are also competing for investments, for entrepreneurs and for new technologies.