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UK Life Sciences Organisations call on Government to Protect Science Budget

8 Sep, 2015

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We’re joining almost 200 other life sciences organisations – from funders to pharmaceuticals companies – to ask the UK government to protect its investment in science in the forthcoming Spending Review. In an letter, published in the Financial Times today, we add our voice to those of leading investors, companies and charities, making the case that long-term public funding provides the foundation for the country’s world-leading multidisciplinary research base, delivers wide-ranging improvements to people’s health and wellbeing, underpins the development and retention of a highly skilled workforce, and drives economic growth and productivity.

Here is the full text of the letter – you can find the complete list of signatories on the Financial Times website and on our news pages.

Sirs,

The UK is a scientific superpower. Strong, predictable and long-term Government investment provides the foundation for this country’s outstanding, multidisciplinary research base. Diverse public funding is critical to maintain the UK’s world-leading position, and improve the health and wellbeing of the population. It drives economic growth and attracts a wealth of global corporations, investors and charities.

CSR Facebook square conical flask blogAs representatives of almost 200 organisations from across the life sciences, we urge the Government to reinforce its commitment to science in the 2015 Spending Review and cement the UK as a global leader in research and development. Our investment and support depend upon it.

The UK pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical technology and diagnostics sectors generate an estimated annual turnover of £56 billion, and employ 183,000 people, even more in supply chains. Venture capitalists and specialist investors back early-stage innovative companies as they grow and flourish. Medical research charities attract support from millions of individual donors, investing £1.3 billion a year and funding the salaries of over 12,000 researchers in universities and institutes. None of this would be possible without strong Government support.

Securing public funding for cross-disciplinary research will deliver benefits to patients, increase private sector confidence, and deliver productivity gains, not least through the development and retention of a highly skilled workforce. In recent years, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne has made it clear that science is a personal priority. We ask the Government to deliver its vision for this area by protecting its essential investment.

Dr Jeremy Farrar
Director, Wellcome Trust

Alison Clough
Acting Chief Executive, Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry

Aisling Burnand
Chief Executive, Association of Medical Research Charities

Dr Menelas Pangalos
Executive Vice-President of Innovative Medicines and Early Development, AstraZeneca

Steve Bates
Chief Executive, BioIndustry Association

Harpal Kumar
Chief Executive, Cancer Research UK

Patrick Vallance
President of Pharmaceuticals R&D, GlaxoSmithKline

Mikael Dolsten
President of Worldwide Research and Development, Pfizer

Martin Murphy
Chief Executive, Syncona Partners

Neil Woodford CBE
Head of Investment, Woodford Investment Management

Full list of signatories can be found here.

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