techUK welcomes Labour’s life sciences plan
techUK welcomes the announcement of the Labour party’s ambitions for their life sciences plan this week. This news sees a continuation of Labour’s ongoing positive signalling towards industry and aligns with the sentiment previously set out by Shadow Secretary for Health and Social Care, Wes Streeting, for Labour to “hold the door open” to the private sector, encouraging their support for the NHS and facilitating innovation within health and care services.
Peter Kyle (Shadow Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology) and Wes Streeting have set out Labour’s plans to:
- invest £10 billion into research and development
- create a new body, an Office of Regulatory Innovation, which would serve the purpose of streamlining new innovations which have the potential to impact health and the economy
- focus on improving innovation adoption and spread within the NHS, particularly on removing barriers to scaling innovationstransition from three-year funding cycles towards ten-year cycles to bolster the industry with more sustained investment, plus allowing the private sector to match government funding
Viewing the NHS as a key partner for innovation, acting on the need to grow investment in life sciences research, and guaranteed access to financing are all fundamental components of the “preconditions for success” set out in the government’s Life Sciences Vision. It is understood that Labour plan to retain existing life sciences structures such as the Life Sciences Council, comprised of ministers and leaders from the global life sciences industry.
With detailed plans yet to be set out in writing, techUK will examine the plans in more depth once available, including any specific plans for how digital, data and technology will be harnessed to support these initiatives. In the meantime, Labour's announcement, and particularly the increased investment and focus on the sector’s impact in growing the UK economy, will be welcome news to companies operating in the life sciences industry.