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Life Sciences Sector Deal is good news for health and medical businesses

In December, The UK Government announced the Life Sciences Sector Deal, which forms part of its Industrial Strategy. The strategy is aimed at boosting UK productivity via five foundational areas:

  • Ideas: the world’s most innovative economy
  • People: good jobs and greater earning power for all
  • Infrastructure: a major upgrade to the UK’s infrastructure
  • Business environment: the best place to start and grow a business
  • Places: prosperous communities across the UK

The Life Sciences Sector Deal is the means by which the government intends to boost productivity in the life sciences sector. It has summarised the deal as a means of ensuring “new pioneering treatments and medical technologies are produced in the UK, improving patient lives and driving economic growth.” It includes private and charitable investment, as well as commitments to research and development from the government.

The Strategy covers five foundations, with the business environment being the most pertinent to health and medical firms. In this area, the government has pledged the following:

  • Launch and roll out Sector Deals – partnerships between government and industry aiming to increase sector productivity. The first Sector Deals are in life sciences, construction, artificial intelligence and the automotive sector
  • Drive over £20bn of investment in innovative and high potential businesses, including through establishing a new £2.5bn Investment Fund, incubated in the British Business Bank
  • Launch a review of the actions that could be most effective in improving the productivity and growth of small and medium-sized businesses, including how to address what has been called the ‘long tail’ of lower productivity firms

There’s also one ideas foundation pledge that will be of interest to health and medical businesses. It states that the government will invest £725m in new Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund programmes to capture the value of innovation. Together, all of the pledges should offer encouragement to health and medical businesses, not only as evidence of support for the sector, but as tangible investment that funding that businesses will be able to access.

Four “Grand Challenges” to address have also been outlined, with a view to putting the UK at the forefront of their sectors, one of which is specifically relevant to health and medical companies. In addition to artificial intelligence and the data economy lean growth and the future of mobility, the government is aiming to tackle the challenges of an ageing society. It hopes to harness “the power of innovation” to help meet the needs of an ageing society.

Blog by Dr Andrew Rose Sector Manager, Health and Life Science for Liverpool City Region Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) and Health Innovation Exchange partner.