In response to the government’s publication of the industrial strategy white paper, Professor Sir Robert Lechler PMedSci, President of the Academy of Medical Sciences, said:
“I am pleased to see foundations of productivity which the new Industrial Strategy will be built on, particularly the focus on ‘ideas’, ‘people’ and ‘places’. In order for the UK to stay as one of the most attractive places to develop the technologies and industries of the future, we must build on our existing strengths.
“This strategy and the life sciences sector deal recognise the excellence of our medical and life sciences research and I am confident that their implementation can help drive growth across the country, allowing UK patients to have access to the best diagnostics, treatments and care.
“The UK has a worldwide reputation for basic, blue-skies research and we must continue to further this asset. I am delighted to see the increase to the research council budgets, which can help balance the focus between basic and applied science.
“The £300 million investment in research talent will be essential to supporting the sustainability of the skills pipeline and the Academy looks forward to working with the Government to deliver these funding schemes.
“I am happy to see that the life sciences sector deal highlights the role that clusters can play in driving growth across the country. The focus on the Oxford-Milton Keynes Cambridge corridor is a promising start, but to reap maximum benefits, we must work to link life sciences clusters all over the UK to ensure the regions are joined up, creating a national approach.
“The creation of data hubs will be a great step towards maximising the huge wealth of health data available to power research forward. These hubs should be accessible to researchers so that they can become an invaluable tool to assist research into treating and preventing disease, something we all will benefit from.
“In order to be truly successful the NHS must be a key constituent in the Life Science Sector Deal. The NHS must be an active research partner and provide a market for the innovative treatments and diagnostics that the sector develops.”