UK government invests £5.5 million in life sciences
The UK government is helping to sustain and grow the 280,000-strong UK life sciences workforce, announcing £5.5 million to establish a Medicines Manufacturing Skills Centre of Excellence.
This latest demonstration of the Government’s commitment to UK life sciences will help ensure the sector has the right talent to drive innovation and deliver its high-skilled that will help the UK respond to future health emergencies.
Minister of State at the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology, George Freeman MP said: “From breakthroughs in genomic medicine to agile new approaches and disease diagnostics, the £94 billion life science sector is central to our ambitions for the economy, as well as playing a fundamental role in our health. But it is only possible for the sector to stay at the front of an accelerating global race if they have a world-class workforce at their disposal.
“We already have a formidable skills base, and as home to four of the world’s top 10 universities, the infrastructure to keep growing it. The Medicines Manufacturing Skills Centre of Excellence will help ensure that we add to the more than 280,000 high-skilled jobs the Life Sciences sector already delivers right across the UK.”
This £5.5 million grant funding forms part of the £650 million ‘Life Sci for Growth’ war chest to fire up the sector, as launched by the Chancellor in May. A competition to allocate funding, led by Innovate UK, will officially open on 26 September.
The Centre will build on existing infrastructure and best practices, delivering sustainable, end-to-end training provision, all of which the industry needs to continue growing.
Establishing the Centre supports two crucial elements of the UK Science and Technology Framework: the Government’s strategic plan to deliver better health and greater prosperity through the opportunities that science, innovation and technology present. The Centre will support the development of a skilled workforce with support from an agile and responsive skills system while aiming to retain the world’s best science and technology talent.
This funding also forms part of a package of investments that further demonstrate the Government’s commitment to both skilled job creation and manufacturing in the UK, including over £40m for 30 cutting-edge projects such as rapid-charging motorcycles and self-driving cars. All of these measures serve to unlock growth and boost the economy, one of the Prime Minister’s five priorities.
The grant competition will launch on 26 September. The recipient of grant competition funding for the Medicines Manufacturing Centre of Excellence will be awarded by Innovate UK, the UK’s national innovation agency, as part of their Transforming Medicines Manufacturing Programme. Innovate UK supports business-led innovation in all sectors, technologies, and in every region of the UK.
Sarah Goulding – Executive Director, Healthy Living and Agriculture Domain at Innovate UK comments: "Innovate UK is pleased to be working with the Department for Science, Innovation and Technology to establish a Medicines Manufacturing Skills Centre of Excellence through this UK Government funding. Talent and skills are fundamental to successful innovation and industry growth. This investment will strengthen the UK's medicines manufacturing skills and training ecosystem and make a real difference to the talent and skills pipeline for UK business innovation."
Steve Bates OBE, Chief Executive Officer of the UK BioIndustry Association added: “Growing UK medicines manufacturing will allow us to capture the greatest economic benefit from our world-leading life sciences research and development ecosystem, creating well-paid jobs and export revenues that power the economy. The diverse geographic footprint of specialised medicines manufacturing facilities means the sector delivers high-quality, rewarding jobs across the UK.
“This significant investment in a Centre of Excellence to attract, retain and develop talent throughout the UK will enhance Britain’s standing as the best location globally for innovative medicines manufacturing”
The government’s Life Sciences Vision, published in 2021, set the ambition to create a globally competitive environment for Life Science manufacturing investments, building on the strengths of our manufacturing R&D, our network of innovation centres, the manufacturing response to COVID-19 and delivery of the Medicines and Diagnostics Manufacturing Transformation Fund. Life sciences are also central to the UK Science and Technology Framework, which identifies the critical technologies set to make the biggest difference to health and life science progress, as well as plans to improve the regulatory landscape for life sciences.