Tom Keighley

Ministers give life sciences a boost

Ministers have announced funding awards to boost the UK life sciences industry, as UK and international delegates meet in London for the British Business Embassy Life Sciences summit.

£10m from the Government’s £180m Biomedical Catalyst have been awarded to 14 universites and 18 SMEs.

The funds will support academics and businesses in their steps to explore market potential of early-stage scientific ideas.

David Willetts has also announced that the Medical Research Council and a consortium of 10 UK Government and charity research funders have invested £19m to establish four e-health research centres in London, Manchester, Dundee and Swansea.

The new centres will enable the UK to make more effective use of electronic health data; a field with huge potential for health care delivery and understanding of disease.

In another boost for life sciences this week, David Cameron announced the Olympic drug-testing laboratories, located in Harlow, will be converted into a £10m world-class research centre.

Minister for Life Sciences David Willetts said: “The UK has one of the world’s largest and most productive life science sectors. We have cutting edge industries such as biotechnology, pharmaceuticals, healthcare and medical technologies. We attract almost 10 per cent of the world’s pharmaceutical R&D funding.

“I am delighted to be a part of this event, which positions the UK as a firm leader in the world of life sciences.”

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