'The UK Government’s Industrial Strategy – a life science perspective' By Steve Bates

By BIA CEO Steve Bates

Major Government policy

A major piece of government policy aimed at delivering sustainable economic growth puts life science first, and centre stage.

Business Secretary Greg Clark chose to formally launch this Government’s industrial strategy on Monday, symbolically at the Francis Crick Institute in London.   

The aim for the strategy is to “create an economy that boosts productivity and earning power throughout the UK”.

For Prime Minister Theresa May and Greg Clark this is a significant policy announcement and the centrepiece of delivering economic growth in the context of Brexit, and cements their break from the Thatcherite tradition of the free market over everything of the 1980s. 

The BIA summary briefing on the Industrial Strategy can be found here.

Life Science Sector Deal trailed as part of the overall strategy

As part of the strategy, the government and the life sciences sector have agreed a transformative Sector Deal with significant investment in innovative new treatments and medical technologies that will improve patient lives and drive economic growth in the UK.

That full Sector Deal Document is expected to be published next month (December), laying out more detail surrounding these commitments. Government thinking is that this is only the first phase of the Life Sciences Sector Deal, the start of an ongoing, collaborative relationship between Government and the sector.

We anticipate that future phases of the deal will include further action on addressing the sector’s skills needs and on supporting key UK clusters. The Government will also consider new proposals that come forward or any that were not yet ready for inclusion in this phase.

A BIA overview of the sector deals in context can be found here.


  • MSD announcement alongside 

Alongside the announcement BIA member MSD announced its commitment to establish a state-of-the-art life sciences discovery research facility in London, focused on early bioscience discovery and entrepreneurial innovation.  The new UK Discovery Centre is anticipated to create 150 new research roles with the aim of attracting the brightest and best research scientists to work in London. 


  • BIA member features on 6pm news as the key business comment – ensuring profile for our sector

The BIA delivered the business context and comment for the entire Industrial Strategy for the BBC 6pm news by arranging for BIA member Oxford Biomedica to host BBC Business Editor, Simon Jack, on the day of the launch with Oxford Biomedica CEO, John Dawson, commenting on the announcement.


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