StartseiteAktuellesNachrichtenUK: Government announces £250m support for new centre for medical innovation; sets out priorities for strengthening british industry

UK: Government announces £250m support for new centre for medical innovation; sets out priorities for strengthening british industry

The Prime Minister and Business Secretary Lord Mandelson announced on 25 March £250 million investment in 2010/11 for a new world-class medical research centre at St Pancras in London, bringing together research teams to tackle major medical challenges. The new UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation will be a partnership with Cancer Research UK, the Wellcome Trust, UCL and the Medical Research Council (MRC) and will work closely with the NHS.

The announcement was made at a visit to the Wellcome Trust on 25 March, and coincides with the launch of a Government report New Industry, New Jobs - One Year On, which sets out the range of measures and investments that the Government has undertaken over the last year to strengthen Britain’s industrial capabilities in key sectors including the biosciences, advanced manufacturing and low carbon technologies. It also sets out the framework for embedding and further developing the government’s industrial strategy. 

Prime Minister Gordon Brown said:

"This unparalleled collaboration between four globally recognised research institutions will help secure Britain's status as a world-leading destination for medical research. It will work to deliver the life-saving treatments of tomorrow and translate research discoveries into competitive advantages for the UK economy. UKCMRI will inspire a new generation of scientists and as we set out in the budget is proof of this government's commitment to invest in the sectors and jobs that we need for the future." 

Lord Mandelson said:

“Forward thinking and decisive action over the last year have produced huge new public and private investment in sectors and markets where the UK has the potential to build competitive strengths in a global economy. The UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation illustrates how strategic government investment in the foundations of competitiveness can help unlock a new decade of sustainable jobs and growth.”

Last year, the Prime Minister created the Office for Life Sciences to coordinate government's efforts to support the life sciences sector. The Office has been welcomed by industry and has developed a comprehensive package of actions to strengthen the business environment for life sciences in the UK, including the development of the Patent Box and the new Life Sciences Super Cluster.

But having listened to the sector and fully to realise the potential of our life sciences industries we need to go further in ensuring improved coordination across government and in committing to a sustainable future for the Office. 

So the Prime Minister has announced that he is minded in the next Parliament to appoint for the first time a Minister for Life Sciences to report to both the Secretaries of State for Business and Health.

To help attract and retain top research talent, Lord Mandelson announced a doctoral scholarship scheme, Newton Scholarships, to provide support for around 100 of the world’s best research students annually and to sustain the UK’s excellence in research capability.

Following concern that the process of medical research is being jeopardised by a complex legal and regulatory framework, the Government also announced an independent review of it. The framework is having a negative impact on the health and wealth of the country. It is affecting both the UK’s competitiveness as a site for industry-funded research and the speed with which advances in basic science can be turned into benefits for patients.

The Government has therefore asked the Academy of Medical Sciences to conduct a rapid independent review of the regulation and governance of medical research. This will be chaired by Sir Michael Rawlins in his capacity as a senior fellow. In view of the particular problems for clinical trials, the review will have a specific focus in this area.

Health Secretary Andy Burnham said:

“It is becoming increasingly clear that medical research is getting tied up in red tape. For research to flourish and provide the huge benefit it can give to the health and wealth of the country, it needs freedom from unnecessary bureaucracy and interference. That’s why I am asking the Academy of Medical Science to review regulation and governance in this area.”

The New Industry, New Jobs One Year On report sets out what has been delivered across the last 12 months to strengthen Britain’s industrial capabilities and invest in the UK’s strengths in industries and technologies of the future.

The report also sets out the forward agenda including:

  • How the Government will respond to the UK’s first ever National Skills Audit, published in March 2010, with new plans to target funding and action on strategic skills gaps;
  • £20million in new funding for the successful Small Business Research Initiative and announcement of the Growth Capital Fund, to provide capital for innovative small firms;
  • The government’s intention to develop a network of technology and innovation centres to help commercialise cutting edge British research, following a report by technology entrepreneur Herman Hauser, his report is published on 25 March;
  • How the Government will imbed a new active approach to building Britain’s industrial capabilities across government, including through a possible modernisation of the legislative framework.

New Industry New Jobs One Year On also highlights other important developments in British industrial strategy over the last year:

  • The creation of the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, which puts together for the first time some of the key policy levers for competitiveness, including skills, higher education, research, innovation and business policy, in a single department with a clear remit to drive future growth;
  • The creation of Infrastructure UK to map the UK’s future infrastructure needs and enable the investment to put this in place;
  • The Low Carbon Industrial Strategy that has supported investment in wind and wave technology and implemented measures to help build the nuclear supply chain. The UK has the world’s largest demonstration of its kind for ultra-low carbon vehicles and is now set to be a global leader in ultra low carbon transport and wind, wave and civil nuclear energy generation;
  • A range of sectoral strategies, backed with new investment.  The advanced manufacturing strategy in July 2009 focused on how the UK can benefit from its strengths in underpinning technologies, such as industrial biotechnology, advanced composites and plastic electronics, which can support growth across a range of sectors;
  • The creation of the Strategic Investment Fund set up at Budget 2009 which earmarked almost £1 billion to projects to develop the UK’s comparative strengths in new technologies and capacities for innovation. These include an offer of an £80million loan to Sheffield Forge Masters to build an ultra-heavy forging capability for nuclear components and an intention to provide grants of up to £30million to Mitsubishi to support offshore wind research and development in the UK.

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Quelle: COI’s News Distribution Service / Department for Business, Innovation and Skil Redaktion: Länder / Organisationen: Vereinigtes Königreich (Großbritannien) Themen: Förderung Infrastruktur Lebenswissenschaften Innovation Wirtschaft, Märkte

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