- Ambitious life sciences package to support economic growth with new commitments and funding for manufacturing, skills and infrastructure
- Announcements help to cut NHS waiting times with changes to improve commercial clinical trials to bring new medicines to patients faster
- Significant investment follows an already improved IMF growth outlook for the UK
The multi-faceted ‘Life Sci for Growth’ package brings together 10 different policies including £121 million to improve commercial clinical trials to bring new medicines to patients faster, up to £48 million of new money for scientific innovation to prepare for any future health emergencies, £154 million to increase the capacity of the UK’s biological data bank further aiding scientific discoveries that help human health, and up to £250 million to incentivise pension schemes to invest in our most promising science and tech firms.
The Chancellor’s £650 million package also includes plans to relaunch the Academic Health Science Network as Health Innovation Networks to boost innovation by bringing together the NHS, local communities, charities, academia and industry to share best practice. It also lays out changes to planning rules to free-up lab space and updates a route for East West Rail (EWR), the new railway line, to improve connections between UK science powerhouses Oxford and Cambridge, bringing more investment to the region.
Life Sciences is one of the UK’s most successful sectors, worth over £94 billion to the UK economy in 2021, a 9% increase on the year before. As a key industry driving UK growth the Chancellor has identified it as a focus for government, ensuring regulation aids innovation, government funding is targeted at vital projects and investment is diverse. This also helps to deliver the Science and Technology framework through reforming regulation, boosting investment and driving up talent and skills.
Chancellor Jeremy Hunt said:
Our Life Sciences sector employs over 280,000 people, makes £94 billion for the UK each year and produced the world’s first covid vaccine.
These are businesses that are growing our economy while having much wider benefits for our health – and this multi-million pound investment will help them go even further.
The package was first revealed to the UK’s Life Science Council by the Chancellor at a meeting at No10 Downing Street, where it was welcomed by the CEOs of global life sciences companies and industry representatives.
The package follows the Treasury’s Life Sciences Connect conference which the Chancellor hosted on 29 March where he heard first-hand from senior industry representatives about the opportunities and challenges they are facing.