The best of the UK’s businesses, scientists, clinicians and engineers are to work side-by-side in the new ‘Catapult in Medicines Technologies’, Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced today (13 July 2015).
On a visit to Redx pharmaceuticals in Cheshire, Mr Osborne built further on plans to put science and innovation at the heart of building the Northern Powerhouse ensuring that the region maximises the potential of the state of the art facilities at Alderley Park.
Catapult centres were launched in 2011, bringing together business with researchers with the aim of helping start-ups bring ideas to market that might otherwise struggle because of a lack of funding, expertise or facilities.
Alderley Park has strong links to research organisations, universities and businesses in the area, making it ideally suited to the development of pre-clinical medicines technologies.
This will be kick started with £5 million worth of funding in 2015-16.
The news builds on the £69 million investment in Catapults that the Chancellor announced at Budget 2014 and further builds on plans to build a Northern Powerhouse.
Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne said:
To make the most of Britain’s leading expertise in science and innovation we must back ideas at every step of the way. Today’s news and £5 million investment will help put the UK in a world leading position to support every single stage of the life sciences innovation life cycle and is exactly what is needed to develop the next generation of unbeatable British leaders in this area.
I am particularly pleased to announce that Alderley Park will benefit from this investment as this is another step in putting science and innovation right at the heart of the Northern Powerhouse.
The Chancellor also announced today that the headquarters of the Precision Medicine Catapult will be located in Cambridge, with regional centres of excellence in the North of England, Northern Ireland, Scotland, Wales and Southern England.
Precision medicine uses diagnostic tests or data-based insights to understand a patient’s disease more precisely, and so select treatments with more predictable, safer, cost-effective outcomes.
The Cambridge headquarters and regional centres are expected to have up to 100 staff once up and running, building the UK’s national innovation centre in this area, with the goal of helping the country to become a world leader in this field.
The UK has already invested over £1 billion in precision medicine research infrastructure and today’s news builds on the government’s plans to develop a network of Catapults to take advantage of opportunities for growth in new global markets
There are eight other Catapults up and running in the UK with total public and private investment exceeding £1.4 billion over their first five years of operation. Additional capital facilities are being delivered over the next two to three years in response to strategic investment by the government.