Innovation fund for life sciences

The life sciences industry has welcomed Lord Mandelson’s announcement of the creation of an Innovation Fund which will be corner-stoned by Government with investment from private investors.

ABPI Director General Richard Barker described the move as an important first step towards putting life sciences at the forefront of the UK’s economy.

He said: “The economy and NHS patients need our country to lead in life sciences. Many great discoveries begin in small companies, many of which face an urgent funding crisis. Meeting this need is an important signal of Government’s intent and a first step towards delivering against an ambitious strategy to put UK life sciences at the forefront of our country’s economic and health future.”

The UK Innovation Fund (UKIF) will be made up of £150 million cornerstone investment from the Government which will leverage significant investment from VCs, institutional investors and large pharmaceutical companies.

The UKIF will hope to raise £1 billion to invest over a ten year life span and will invest in life sciences, clean technology, advanced manufacturing and digital Britain.

Clive Dix, Chairman of the BioIndustry Association (BIA), commented: “The Government’s plan for an Innovation Fund will make a significant contribution to securing the long-term health of the life science sector in the UK, providing much needed follow-on investment to early-stage companies developing innovative technologies for the patients that need them.

“This is an excellent first step towards delivering an integrated strategy for life sciences and we look forward to the announcement of a full package of measures from the Office for Life Sciences expected in July.”