Thursday, 18 January, 2018

Pharma leader MSD endorses government's Industrial Strategy

Greg Clark the business secretary says the investment by Merck “will ensure Britain continues to be at the forefront of innovation” US drug firm Merck creates 1000 research jobs
Lillian Steele | 28 November, 2017, 01:26

"The strategy unveiled today reflects this engagement, with a new and unique partnership between government, academia and industry, supported by policies that are committed to making the United Kingdom economy more productive and giving it a competitive edge in the future and overseas".

The government is calling two major new investments in the United Kingdom by pharma firms a "huge vote of confidence" in its approach to industrial strategy.

In the document, the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (DBEIS), pledges to "work closely" with retailers to increase productivity.

Other sector specific deals are due to be unveiled in Artificial Intelligence, the automotive and construction industries in the coming weeks.

"So this Industrial Strategy deliberately strengthens the 5 foundations of productivity: ideas, people, infrastructure, business environment and places".

Following the announcement made in last week's budget, Greg Clark has today stated that £725 million will be invested into Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund Programmes to capture the value of innovation.

"MSD's commitment today, and the wider Sector Deal investment we have secured, proves the process outlined in the Industrial Strategy can give companies the confidence and direction they need to invest in the UK".

Business secretary Greg Clarke said the new industrial strategy was "unashamedly ambitious".

"A new United Kingdom location will enable us to build on our proud legacy of invention and be an important contributor to the vibrant and rapidly growing United Kingdom life sciences community, while providing access for more collaborations within the European life science ecosystem", noted MSD's Research Laboratories president Roger Perlmutter.

Molho's thoughts were echoed by Greenpeace UK head of energy Hannah Martin, who said: "Ministers are right to recognise clean energy as a top priority for British industry and regional regeneration".

"Reforming the Apprenticeship Levy, and addressing challenges in schools are vital parts of a long term Industrial Strategy".

"We now look forward to further detail on the sector deals between the pharmaceutical industry and government on the back of Sir John Bell's impressive Life Sciences Industrial Strategy", commented ABPI chief executive Mike Thompson.

"Today's Sector Deals are welcome and must be seen as the start of a new approach, not the final word".

Merck (MSD) has announced plans to establish a state of the art life sciences discovery research facility in London, focussed on early bioscience discovery and entrepreneurial innovation.

PM Theresa May said the Strategy would provide a blueprint for businesses to deliver a "stronger and fairer economy far years to come".

"Investments by world-renowned companies like MSD and QIAGEN demonstrate that the UK's science base is truly world-leading and an exceptional national strength". And German diagnostics expert Qiagen will spend billions on a campus in Manchester to lead work on genomics, creating 800 jobs.

This could mean an extra £80bn investment in advanced technology, according to government estimates.

CEO Dr Colin Church says "CIWM was looking for the Industrial Strategy White Paper to recognise the role improving resource productivity can play in helping the United Kingdom economy meet the challenges it faces".

This stems from the 2,000 responses the government received to its original green paper, published earlier this year, which suggested that it takes a whole systems approach to the energy market.

In the Industrial Strategy, clean growth is identified as one of four "grand challenges".

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