Life Sciences Super Cluster announced as support for UK Life Sciences
On January 26, 2010, the Government announced plans for a new UK Life Sciences Super Cluster, supported by £1 million of Government investment. Bringing together industry, academia and the NHS, it will help deliver the next generation of medicines and technologies needed to support people suffering from chronic diseases.
At its heart will be the creation of Therapeutic Capability Clusters. These will be one-stop-shops for the UK’s top research in specific fields. They will bring together academic and NHS centres of excellence, which will work with industry to harness the UK’s expert capabilities and work on early stage clinical development and experimental medicine. The new Life Sciences Super Cluster will be kick-started later this year with a pilot in immunology and inflammation focussing on disease areas such as asthma and rheumatoid arthritis.
The announcement caps off a year of action for UK Life Sciences. In July 2009, the Office for Life Sciences (OLS) published the Life Sciences Blueprint setting out an ambitious and comprehensive set of measures to transform the UK operating environment. In the six months since publication, much has been achieved:
- A Patent Box, applying a 10% rate of corporation tax to patent-related income from April 2013. This will strengthen incentives for companies to invest in innovative activity and locate in the UK. Government will consult with business on the detailed design of the Box in time for Finance Bill 2011;
- A £21.5 million RegenMed programme managed by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), which will support our growing and strategically-important regenerative medicine industry. The TSB launched two competitions, involving over 40 companies, in 2009 and will hold further competitions in 2010;
- An Innovation Pass, which will give patients earlier access to promising licensed medicines. A consultation on this three-year initiative began in November 2009. A one-year pilot will start in April 2010 with funding of £25 million.