Prime Minister Boris Johnson has announced a new £20m fund aimed at expanding medicines manufacturing capabilities within the UK, strengthening the country’s ability to respond to future pandemics.
The Government’s new capital investment fund, the Medicines and Diagnostic Manufacturing Transformation Fund, will open up investment opportunities for medicines manufacturers in England, Scotland and Wales – with the intended goal of improving domestic medicine supply chains and created thousands of highly skilled jobs in the process.
It is also expected the new funding boost will help put UK companies ahead of global competitors in advanced medicines manufacturing, while also helping them to respond to future healthcare needs and bolster the UK’s overall health resiliency.
Prime Minister Boris Johnson said: “This new £20m fund will significantly increase the capacity and resilience of our medicines and diagnostics manufacturing supply chains and equip us to fight future health crises.
“Throughout the pandemic we have seen a coming together of British scientific industry and innovation and this new fund will enhance the UK’s manufacturing capabilities even further.”
Business Secretary Alok Sharma added: “The positive and timely response of our medicines manufacturers to the pandemic has been remarkable, but we want to ensure that the UK’s supply chains are even more resilient in the future.
“There are huge opportunities for innovation in medicines and diagnostics, and this new fund will put the UK head and shoulders above others, boosting the UK’s capabilities and generating significant economic opportunities across the country.”
Covid-19 has demonstrated the importance of a strong domestic medicines and manufacturing industry.
This new fund has been established to grow and strengthen the UK’s capabilities by encouraging companies to develop new technologies, build new factories and harness new advances in the field, including bioprocessing, data and using greener manufacturing processes.
With two-thirds of life science manufacturing jobs already based outside London and the South East, the fund will also open up economic opportunities in different parts of the UK, creating thousands of new, highly-skilled manufacturing jobs as well as safeguarding existing roles.
The multi-year fund is set to have an initial pot of £20m, available from next year, as part of the 2021-22 Spending Review, as announced by the Chancellor on November 25, 2020.
Eligible manufacturing companies can bid for the fund to help with their capital costs.
More information will be made available over the coming months, ahead of the fund launching mid-next year. The fund will be run through a competitive process overseen by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.