As part of the Industrial Strategy, the government committed to making the most of the UK’s strengths, so that we are at the forefront of new technologies and emerging industries in the years ahead. The life sciences sector is one of the most important pillars of the UK economy, contributing over £70bn a year and 240,000 jobs across the country.
In 2017, a wide coalition of industry and charity partners, led by the government’s Life Sciences Champion Professor Sir John Bell, published an ambitious Life Sciences Industrial Strategy to set a clear direction for the future economic growth of the sector. The government’s response came within only 12 weeks of the strategy’s publication with the very first Life Sciences Sector Deal. The Deal announced nearly £500m of government support and over £1bn of new inward industry investment, bringing together industry partners from across the sector, charities, a range of government agencies and the NHS to deliver its bold vision at pace.
One year on, the second Life Sciences Sector Deal is going even further, announcing additional measures to secure a global lead in the areas of greatest opportunity for the UK. Taken together with the first Sector Deal, these programmes are building on existing strengths and putting in place the foundations for future growth needed to develop the ecosystem that allows life sciences to continue to thrive in the UK. The second Life Sciences Sector Deal sets out:
In early detection of disease and genomics:
In digital technologies and data analytics we are:
In advanced therapies:
Wider policy measures are supporting the package, including:
The Deal also sets out how we are delivering on our commitment to increase R&D spend in the UK to 2.4% of GDP by 2027. We are improving the uptake of innovation in the NHS, implementing the Accelerated Access Review. This year the NHS will set out through its forthcoming long-term plan and the recently announced medicines pricing agreement, how it will be a crucial national partner and beneficiary of innovations flowing from industry.
Industry partners have responded to commitments from government with a further wave of their own commitments to the UK, generating well over £1bn in new investment. These include:
The strength of the partnership between the government, the NHS and the life sciences sector is making the UK a global standard bearer for discovery research and advanced manufacturing. We are committed to continuing the hard work of implementation over the coming years because the prize – a globally-leading UK life sciences environment – will deliver huge benefits to the people of this country through a stronger economy and a stronger NHS.
Sector Deals, where industries are invited to come forward with plans for their future, embody the ethos of our collaborative approach. They show how industry and the Government, working in partnership, can boost the productivity and earning power of specific sectors.
I am placing a copy of the second Life Sciences Sector Deal in the Libraries of the House.