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8 April 2021Big PharmaMuireann Bolger

UK govt’s £20m fund for life sciences opens for applications

The UK government’s £20 million fund aimed at growing life sciences manufacturing is now open for applications, it confirmed today, April 7.

Announced last November by Prime Minister Boris Johnson, the Medicines and Diagnostics Manufacturing Transformation Fund is designed to boost the country’s ability to respond to future pandemics and put UK companies ahead of global competitors.

The fund will support the manufacture of medicines, diagnostics and medical technology in the UK.

According to the government’s statement, the fund will also open up economic and investment opportunities for manufacturers across the whole of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, improving domestic supply chains and creating hundreds of manufacturing jobs.

Government figures show that health and life sciences industries account for a turnover of £80 billion and support 256,000 jobs in the UK.

The UK business secretary Kwasi Kwarteng said: “This £20 million investment will harness the best in UK manufacturing and fund cutting-edge medical technologies to protect the British public in 2021 and beyond.

“This will not only boost the UK’s already strong vaccine and medicine portfolio but support top quality, local jobs across the country and put the UK in a formidable position to continue responding to the most pressing global challenges of our time.”

Life Sciences Minister Nadhim Zahawi said: “Our life sciences sector is world-leading and its incredible response to COVID-19 has reminded us of the crucial importance of the sector to the UK.

“I am thrilled to see this fund opening for applications and would encourage companies to make the most of the opportunity to expand their operations and create good jobs as we build back better from the pandemic.”

He added that the COVID-19 pandemic had shown the importance of having a strong domestic medicines and diagnostics manufacturing industry.

“This new fund has been established to grow and strengthen the UK’s capabilities, as well as encouraging companies to deploy new technologies, build new factories and harness new advances, including bioprocessing, data and using greener manufacturing processes,” said Zahawi.

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