In the ever-imminent face of Brexit, the UK government has pledged £160mn to the healthcare and medical research sector, part of Prime Minister Theresa May’s plans for a £4.7bn increase in research and development over the next four years.
In the wake of the announcement, the industry is set to benefit from a more favourable tax policy and increased funding amongst a general policy that will encourage sector growth.
The healthcare and medical research industry was identified as one of five key sectors to the UK economy by May, with almost 235,000 employees and 5,000 companies operating in the sector.
The first phase of investment, recommended by the UK’s life sciences industry, will see £146mn invested to support the development of advanced treatments and research by industry SME’s, and help cultivate manufacturing innovation.
The remaining £14mn of the £160mn of funding will go to medical technology research centres, with the aim of enhancing collaboration between private research companies and the National Health Service, with the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy report outlining this as a key goal.
“We have created a strategy which capitalises on our strong science base to further build the industry into a globally-unique and internationally competitive life sciences eco-system,” said Sir John Bell, Chairman of the UK Office for Strategic Coordination of Health Research and the man behind the government-commissioned report.
The move is in line with the government’s broader plans of a modern industrial strategy, designed to boost Britain’s weak productivity growth levels.