"I 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." Nadhim Zahawi, Life Sciences Minister
Applications are now open for a £20 million fund to support the manufacture of medicines, diagnostics and MedTech in the UK.
The Medicines and Diagnostics Manufacturing Transformation Fund was announced in November with the aim of boosting UK companies and improving the country’s ability to respond to future pandemics.
It is also hoped that the extra cash will open up economic and investment opportunities for manufacturers across England, Northern Ireland, Scotland and Wales, improving domestic supply chains and protecting and creating skilled manufacturing jobs.
The UK’s health and life sciences industry currently has a turnover of £80bn and supports 256,000 jobs.
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.
“I 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”.
The new fund is designed to encourage companies to deploy new technologies, build new factories and make the best use of new advances, including bioprocessing, data and using greener manufacturing processes.
So far the UK government has invested over £300m into manufacturing a successful vaccine, working through the Vaccine Taskforce set up in April 2020.
Meanwhile, in a separate announcement, BEIS (the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy) has announced the UK is to become an associated country to the EU’s key funding programme for research and innovation, Horizon Europe.
The initiative is part of the Trade and Co-operation Agreement with the EU.
Horizon Europe will be at least 20% larger than the previous framework programme. The Government has also said it will provide funding for ongoing research projects already awarded under Horizon 2020, for example Euratom and Copernicus.