Dear Mr Osborne,
Ahead of the forthcoming Comprehensive Spending Review I am sure you will have received many letters from across the science community calling for continued public investment in the sector.
As members of the newly established All Party Parliamentary Group on Life Sciences we write to voice our perspective on this important issue.
The UK life sciences sector is a core driver of 21st century economic growth. The UK pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical technology and diagnostics sectors generate an estimates annual turnover of £56 billion and employ 183,000 people, even more in supply chains. Moreover the devices, diagnostics and medicines developed by these sectors benefit patients in the UK and this innovation has the potential to save costs elsewhere in the UK healthcare system.
However the success and output of these sectors depends on strong, predictable and long-term government investment. Diverse public funding is critical to maintain the UK's world-leading position and also makes sound economic sense. Public investment crowds in, rather than squeezes out, other funding from the private and third sectors - every £1 spent by the government on R&D increases private sector productivity by 20p every year and Innovate UK's schemes return an average of £6 Gross Value Added (GVA) to the economy for every £1 invested. Medical research charities invest £1.3billion a year, building on the investment made by the government. These complementary routes for funding help create an attractive environment for private sector investment in the UK. This is why it is critical that the government continues its support to ensure that the UK maintain its success in translating science into economic growth.
In light of this we call on the government to reinforce its commitment to science in the 2015 Spending Review by ensuring that both capital investment and the resource element of the science budget plus other publically funded research and innovation investment, such as funding for Innovate UK and the NIHR, is protected, and ideally growing in real terms, to show that the UK is open for business and growth. In the face of global competition for inward investment the UK needs to maintain and extend this support.
The decision to protect science spending during the last Parliament has engendered a vision for the future of the UK, where science and innovation is at the heart of sustained economic growth and the health and wealth of the nation. Sustaining this vision is key to maintaining the UK's position in the world and we as a cross-party community look forward to supporting the UK on that journey over the next 5 years and beyond.
Kit Malthouse Member of Parliament for North West Hampshire and Chair for APPG for Life Sciences
John Glen Member Member of Parliament for Salisbury and Treasurer for APPG for Life Sciences
Chris Green Member of Parliament for Bolton West and Secretary for APPG for Life Sciences
Jo Churchill Member of Parliament for Bury St Edmunds
Rt Hon John Spellar Member of Parliament for Warley
Carol Monaghan Member of Parliament for Glasgow North West
The Lord Turnberg
The Lord Clement-Jones CBE