Wales to benefit from new jobs and growth in life sciences

Hundreds of extra jobs and tens of millions of pounds of growth would benefit Wales if increases in life science research and development rise in line with government targets, according to research conducted by the Association of the British Pharmaceutical Industry (ABPI).

Business News Wales reports four hundred and fifteen extra well paid skilled jobs would be created for Wales with the added R&D, along with £31m of extra growth in 2027 alone. Wales is predicted to outdo Northern Ireland and South West England in terms of jobs and growth, with Northern Ireland predicted to generate £23m of added growth and around three hundred extra jobs and South West England predicted to generate £30m of added growth and just under four hundred extra jobs.

Much of the extra growth for Wales would likely come from established “hotspots” for investment such as Rhymney, Cardiff and Swansea, where academics from Cardiff and Swansea Universities have a good track record of collaborating with the pharmaceutical industry on pioneering research.

The Wales figures are projected on the basis that R&D in the region’s life sciences sector will jump from £23m in 2015 to £42m in 2027.

The UK Government set out in the budget last year that it would commit to increasing its investment in R&D to 2.4% of GDP by 2027, to help the UK to catch up with the R&D spending of the countries like Japan, Germany and the US. In time, the investment could rise to 3% of GDP. In this scenario, seven hundred and fifty six extra high quality jobs will be created and £56m of growth added in Wales by 2027.

On a UK level, the ABPI research suggests that the extra R&D investment in the pharmaceutical sector brought about by the 2.4% GDP target would create twenty four thousand jobs and boost growth by nearly £1.8bn in 2027. If R&D investment rises to 3%, the pharmaceutical sector would create almost forty four thousand jobs, bringing in £3.27bn for economy.

Dr Richard Greville, Director of ABPI Cymru Wales, said “This research underlines why increasing the amount that government and industry spends on innovation is so important. Industries like pharmaceuticals have the potential to generate the jobs of tomorrow, as well as securing the thousands of jobs they provide in Wales today. But it’s not just about jobs and the economy. Our scientists work hand-in-hand with the NHS to provide medicines which save and improve millions of lives in this country, around the world and in communities in this region. By investing in the life sciences like pharmaceuticals we can be part of the battle against illnesses that continue to blight so many lives – while also helping to deliver jobs and prosperity in regions like Wales and across Britain.”

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