CBI calls for decisive action from UK Government to support life sciences



The Confederation of British Industry (CBI) has called on the government to take decisive action to support the UK’s life-sciences sector.

A new report outlines numerous ways to deliver vastly improved patient outcomes, cement the UK’s reputation as a leading hub for research and pull ahead of growing international competition.

Contributing more than £70bn per year to the economy, and employing nearly a quarter of a million people across the UK, the sector plays a vital role in both driving innovation and delivering improved standards of care.  

Looking at five key drivers of competitiveness, measured against key international competitors, the CBI made recommendations for bolstering the UK’s position as a global life sciences hub. These included:

  1. Government-backing of the sector.
  2. Strength of the research and innovation framework.
  3. Access to talent.
  4. Stability and competitiveness of the taxation system.
  5. A flexible healthcare system keeping pace with changing patient needs.

Matthew Fell, chief UK policy director at the CBI, said: “The life sciences sector is already a major asset for the UK economy and society, but that doesn’t mean we can rest on our laurels. 

“The race for investment and talent is fierce and other countries are desperate to usurp the UK’s leading position,” he continued, adding: “By strengthening the UK’s innovation ecosystem, ensuring government-backing for the sector and enhancing tax competitiveness we can lay the foundations for a world-class offer that is not only competitive today, but offers jobs, growth and opportunities long into the future.”

Richard Torbett, chief executive of Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI), said that investment in science will help beat the Coronavirus, while good-quality jobs will help the country deal with the economic fallout. 

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“Our life sciences sector provides both and has the potential to deliver so much more – implementing policies that keep us competitive today will define the next decade of UK life sciences as much as artificial intelligence or aging research will.”



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