UK Gov supports life sciences sector with £17m investment

UK Gov supports life sciences sector with £17m investment
Philip Hammond. Credit: Shutterstock.com/ Sovastock

The UK’s life sciences sector is set to benefit to the tune of £17 million after fresh funding was announced by Chancellor Philip Hammond.

The funding – part of the Government’s wider industrial strategy – will help to unlock “real benefits for the NHS and patients”, Hammond said.

It will lay the groundwork for new drug discovery as well as supporting mental health treatment.

The aim is to capitalise on the UK’s scientific prowess and transform it into “real life treatments”.

Though the UK represents just 0.9% of the global population, it produces 15.2% of the world’s most highly-cited articles.

Research productivity in this sector is twice as great as the United States and almost three times greater than in Germany.

The life sciences industry provides medical treatments which the NHS and its 60 million patients rely on every year.

The industry is also critical to the UK economy, generating £63.5 billion turnover.

“The UK has world-leading expertise in life sciences… and it is through supporting growth in these cutting edge industries that we will build a competitive economy that works for everyone,” Hammond said.

Science minister Jo Johnson added: “We are determined to cement the UK’s position as a global leader and capitalise on its strengths to encourage both economic growth and improve health outcomes for patients.”