By David Pye and Derry Mercer
On 20th November 2017, the EMA announced that it would be relocating to Amsterdam from London with the intention of commencing operations on 30th March 2019 at the latest. The choice of Amsterdam was no great surprise to anyone, except possibly for a few Milanese. The EMA, based in London since 1995, currently employs almost 900 staff and it is hoped that many will move with the EMA to their new headquarters taking with them their €322 million annual budget.
Continue reading European Medicines Agency and Brexit: Where next for the UK?
By Malcolm Weir, Founder, Chairman and CEO of Heptares
Before Christmas, two important papers were released by HM Government namely the Industrial Strategy White Paper and the Life Sciences Sector Deal.
Continue reading UK industrial strategy and the life sciences sector
By Dr Derry K Mercer, Principal Scientist at Novabiotics Ltd & member of the Biochemical Society Policy Advisory Panel
The UK Government recently published a Green Paper ‘Building our Industrial Strategy’ in which the urgent need for developing skills in further/higher education and the workforce was outlined. The document noted that while the UK higher education system was strong, our achievements in basic and technical skills was relatively poor and has led to the lower levels of productivity compared with other advanced economies.
The skills issues were outlined as follows:
- lack of basic skills;
- shortage of high-skilled technicians below graduate level;
- skills shortages in STEM sectors;
- the need for informed career choices;
- lack of lifelong learning opportunities.
For anyone working in the molecular biosciences, whether in academia or industry, most of these concerns can hardly have come as a surprise and represents a huge problem for a growing sector that currently generates turnover of over £56 billion per annum. Indeed, the skills and productivity gaps were pointed out in an earlier UK government document ‘Fixing the foundations: Creating a more prosperous nation’ in 2015. Continue reading “The demand for skills development in the molecular biosciences”
By Dr Kelly Davidge, Research and Development Manager at Kirkstall Ltd
In the Government’s recently published Green Paper on building the UK’s industrial strategy, they recognise the importance of investment in science, research and innovation and have committed to a number of strategies to boost the UK innovation economy. Although the UK has three of the top 10 and 12 of the top 100 world universities, we lag behind other countries when it comes to investment in innovation through research and development (R&D):
- 1.7% of UK GDP- gross domestic product- is invested in R&D funding, compared with the OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) average of 2.4%;
- business investment in R&D is 1% in the UK, but 2% in Germany, 2.5% in Japan and over 3% in South Korea;
- the UK produces a similar number of spin-off companies to the US but registers fewer patents;
- none of our universities feature in the top 10 of Reuters Top 100: The World’s Most Innovative Universities – 2016, a list that ranks the educational institutions doing the most to advance science, invent new technologies and drive the global economy.
Continue reading “Building our Industrial Strategy: Investing in science, research and innovation”