From education to employment

£29 million boost for bioscience

Business Secretary announces funding for bioscience project during visit to Scotland as part of UK-wide Industrial Strategy engagement tour.

  • Roslin Institute to benefit from £29 million of UK government money
  • new funding is part of £319 million investment in UK bioscience
  • announcement comes as Greg Clark meets businesses from across Scotland to discuss the Industrial Strategy

Business Secretary Greg Clark has today announced £29 million of funding for the Roslin Institute, part of the University of Edinburgh.

This investment is part of a total £319 million the UK government has today committed for UK bioscience funding over the next 5 years, delivering opportunities for highly-skilled jobs and cementing the UK as a world-leader in science and innovation as we build our Industrial Strategy.

The £29 million funding for the Roslin Institute will play a vital role in the government’s and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council’s (BBSRC) mission to further scientific knowledge, particularly around controlling infectious diseases, such as bird flu, and helping researchers develop solutions to modern healthcare challenges.

Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said:

Through our modern Industrial Strategy, we will build on Scotland’s exceptional strengths and use all the tools at our disposal to ensure every part of the country can reach its potential, ensuring that prosperity is spread across the UK.

Science, research and innovation are at the heart of the Industrial Strategy which is why we’re providing more than £4.7 billion of additional funding over the next 5 years, including the £319 million for bioscience research. The Roslin Institute is a great example of Scotland’s world class bioscience sector and exactly the sort of project our Industrial Strategy will support.

Welcoming the announcement of £29 million for the Roslin Institute, Professor Melanie Welham, Chief Executive from Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council said:

Keeping the UK a global hub of vibrant research and innovation requires strategic investment in excellent research. I’m delighted that the Secretary of State, Greg Clark, is able to announce this significant investment in bioscience research. Alongside other disciplines, bioscience is vital for ensuring UK research and innovation remains competitive, addresses real world challenges and makes a difference to people’s lives.

Professor Sir Timothy O’Shea, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Edinburgh, said:

This investment will help to ensure Roslin’s continuing success over the next 5 years. The Institute plays a pivotal role in the University’s mission to tackle the many pressing issues in animal health and welfare, including those which have implications for human health and sustainability of animals in the food chain.

With only 1 week to go until the end of the Industrial Strategy green paper consultation, the Business Secretary and the Scottish Secretary, David Mundell, will hold a meeting this morning in Edinburgh with a number of Scottish businesses from a range of sectors. The reception will be an opportunity for the business, science and academic community to discuss how the government’s Plan for Britain and Industrial Strategy can benefit workers, entrepreneurs and businesses in the Scottish economy and across the U.K.

Secretary of State for Scotland David Mundell said:

The investment of £29 million of UK government funding for the Roslin Institute underpins our ambitious Industrial Strategy, as we ensure that innovative Scottish industries such as biosciences lead the way in research and development on a global scale.

As we prepare to negotiate our exit from the EU, the UK government are supporting Scottish businesses, from Harris Tweed to whisky, to compete in markets across the globe and create skilled, sustainable and secure jobs.

The Business Secretary started his 2 day tour by visiting Stornoway, where he met representatives of the Scottish Island Renewable Delivery forum to discuss renewable energy in the Outer Hebrides and also went to the Kenneth MacKenzie Harris Tweed mill, which plays a vital role in Scotland’s textile industry, exporting to 60 countries.

Whisky is one of Scotland’s great industries and world beating excellence, generating £3.95 billion for the UK economy in 2015 with nearly 100 million cases of whisky exported worldwide. To discuss the enduring success of the sector, the Business Secretary travelled to the Isle of Harris Whisky Distillery, which began distilling shortly after it was built in September 2015.

During his visit, the Business Secretary is due to meet Scottish government ministers Keith Brown and Paul Wheelhouse. They are expected to discuss how the UK and Scottish governments can work together and how the Industrial Strategy will stimulate growth and boost prosperity across Scotland.

The engagement taking place follows the launch of the UK government’s green paper, ‘Building our Industrial Strategy’, in January which outlined 10 pillars of focus to be discussed as part of a 12 week consultation period. The pillars cover a broad range of themes including skills, infrastructure, affordable energy and clean growth.

The strategy proposes plans for driving growth across the UK, with a framework to build on local strengths and reduce regional disparities in opportunities and prosperity.

The UK government has issued an open invitation to industries, businesses and local groups to visit the Industrial Strategy consultation and help set the priorities for a modern Industrial Strategy.

The consultation period has just over 1 week remaining, closing on April 17, after which the UK government will consider responses before publishing a white paper later in the year.

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