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Government’s commitment to boosting investment in research in development in the life sciences

Boosting research and development in the thriving life sciences industry would deliver up to 740 new jobs for the East Midlands, new figures reveal

  • Hitting the government’s target of 2.4% of GDP being devoted to research and development by 2027 could generate an extra £30m for the economy in the East Midlands.
  • Hitting the 2.4% target will generate more than 400 extra jobs in the East Midlands. But if investment on R&D went up to 3% then nearly 740 extra jobs would be created. 

The East Midlands stands to benefit from a high-quality jobs and growth bonanza over the next decade in its already healthy life sciences sector, according to new research.

Hundreds of extra jobs and tens of millions of pounds of growth would be added to the region 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).

Specifically, around 405 extra well-paid, skilled jobs would be created for the East Midlands with the added R&D, along with more than £30m of extra growth, in 2027 alone.

The East Midlands is predicted to outdo the North East in terms of jobs and growth, with the North East predicted to generate £25m of added growth and 337 extra jobs.

The life sciences sector is made up of industries like food science, plus plant and veterinary science. But the pharmaceutical industry is the single biggest contributor.

The East Midlands figures are projected on the basis that R&D in the region’s life sciences sector will jump from £22m in 2015 to £41m in 2027.

The Government set out in the Budget last year that it would commit to increasing its investment in R&D to 2.4 per cent of Gross Domestic Product by 2027, to help the UK to catch up with the R&D spending of the most advanced economies like Japan, Germany and the United States.

In time, the investment could rise to 3 per cent of GDP, which the ABPI research shows if met by 2027 would create an even greater boom in jobs.

In this scenario, nearly 740 (738) extra high quality jobs will be created in the East Midlands, with a sizeable £55m of growth added to region.

On a nationwide level, the ABPI research suggests that the extra R&D investment in the pharmaceutical sector brought about by the 2.4 per cent GDP target would create tens of thousands of jobs in the UK overall in 2027 (24,000) and boost growth by nearly £1.8bn.

If R&D investment rises to 3 per cent, the gains will be even more bountiful, with the pharmaceutical sector creating almost 44,000 jobs, bringing in well over £3bn for the UK economy – at £3.27bn.  

Dr Richard Torbett from ABPI 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 the East Midlands 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 pharmacy 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 the East Midlands and across Britain.”  


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