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Chancellor announces £150 million for clinical research infrastructure on visit to Quintiles prime site in Exeter

The Chancellor accompanied by the Minister for Women and Equalities visits the Research, Innovation, Learning and Development (RILD) centre at Exeter University.

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George Osborne and Nicky Morgan during a lab visit at the Research, Innovation, Learning and Development (RILD) centre at Exeter University

Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, today (23 October 2014) announced £150 million for clinical research infrastructure while on a visit to the Quintiles clinical research prime site at Exeter University. The Chancellor, accompanied by Minister for Women and Equalities Nicky Morgan, visited the Research, Innovation, Learning and Development (RILD) centre at Exeter University where he met with senior staff from Quintiles, the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Trust, and the University of Exeter.

The RILD, opened earlier this year, will benefit from a £1.6 million grant from the fund to purchase state of the art equipment to unlock some of the hidden secrets of the genome. The centre brings together skills, learning and innovation to improve patient care in a single centre of excellence. The site forms a key part of the Quintiles Peninsula Prime Site in the South West.

As part of the visit the Chancellor also presented the Quintiles ‘Woman in Science’ award at Exeter University while addressing staff at the site. The award, which provides £5000 of funding for the student who best demonstrates strong leadership and professionalism and who best acts as an ambassador for women in science was presented to Eleanor White. Eleanor is currently completing a BSc in Medical Sciences.

Quintiles, the world’s largest provider of biopharmaceutical development, and commercial outsourcing services, employs 29,000 people globally. Over half of their workforce is made up of women who fill the majority of the company’s senior leadership positions. The company helped develop or commercialise the top 100 bestselling drugs of 2013.

The visit formed the construction element of the Chancellors regional tour highlighting the role of women in the economy, which came as new HM Treasury analysis was published showing strong female employment in all four sectors of the economy, primarily in highly skilled occupations.

George Osborne said:

The UK is a world leader in clinical research and the investment announced today will allow us to build on that position. Our long term economic plan is all about backing highly skilled sectors like this so that they can expand.

It is fantastic to see the partnership here between Quintiles, Exeter University, and the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS trust, and to meet the with staff – many of them women in senior positions – who are leading the way in clinical research.

Nicky Morgan said:

It’s great to see women making strides in science and they are great role models for girls. All women should have the chance and skills to succeed in their chosen career.

This is why we’re improving careers guidance and supporting initiatives like the Your Life campaign, which aim to drive up the number of young people – particularly girls - studying and pursuing careers in the vital areas of science, technology, engineering and maths.

Lindy Jones, Chairman of the European and Latin Americas Board, Quintiles, said:

Quintiles is committed to achieving better patient outcomes by transforming clinical research. Improving the UK clinical research infrastructure will undoubtedly help ensure that the UK remains firmly on the global clinical research map.

We were also delighted that The Chancellor met with us at our Peninsula Prime site and presented our Woman in Science prize. His visit recognised the work we are doing, together with our partners at the university and in the NHS, to drive excellence in clinical research.

Published 23 October 2014