News story

New ministers for life sciences

Setting out the new ministerial responsibilities for the life sciences sector.

Digital tablet with lab equipment.

The Office for Life Sciences (OLS) will continue to be a joint unit across the Department of Health (DH) and the newly formed Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy (BEIS).

New ministers

Sector responsibilities will be split across ministers in both departments.

Department of Health

In the Department of Health, 2 ministers will be jointly responsible for life sciences.

Lord O’Shaughnessy, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Health

Lord O’Shaughnessy will lead on:

  • the DH life science industrial strategy
  • the Accelerated Access Review
  • making a success of leaving the European Union
  • the biopharmaceutical and medical technology industry

Nicola Blackwood, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State for Public Health and Innovation

Nicola Blackwood will lead on:

  • genomics
  • data and digital health
  • emerging health technologies

Department for Business, Energy, and Industrial Strategy

Lord Prior of Brampton, Parliamentary Under Secretary of State

Within BEIS, Lord Prior will be responsible for the BEIS life science industrial strategy. He will work with the BEIS Secretary of State, Greg Clark, to oversee the UK’s drive to lead the world in the new age of global science.

Life Sciences Organisation (LSO)

Greg Hands, Minister of State for Trade and Investment

Greg Hands will lead on high value export and investment campaigns on behalf of the Life Sciences Organisation (LSO).

Working together

As our ministerial support spans both departments, it will enable the life science agenda to be fully integrated into the priorities for both BEIS and DH, from industrial strategy to the uptake of innovation.

The life science sector will continue to be supported by the Office for Life Sciences and its director, Nicole Mather. We’ll continue to work together to achieve the best possible outcomes for the sector. We’ll work closely with the new Department for International Trade and Department for Exiting the European Union.

UK/EU steering group

A UK/EU steering group has been set up to oversee and manage a programme of work to inform transition. This group, aligned with the Ministerial Industry Strategy Group, is gathering views from a variety of stakeholders across the sector. The group will provide recommendations and considerations for how the UK can seize the opportunity to define for the sector a new relationship with the EU.

Future of the sector

New ministers are excited to have the opportunity to support and influence the further growth of such a strong and productive life science environment. Just this week (1 August 2016), GSK and Verily announced £540 million of investment into the UK across manufacturing in the emerging sector of bioelectronics, further reinforcing the strength of the sector.

We are determined to ensure UK’s health and life sciences sectors continue to place the UK at the forefront of 21st century healthcare and look forward to working closely with stakeholders to achieve this goal.

Published 4 August 2016
Last updated 16 February 2017 + show all updates
  1. Updated to reflect the new ministerial team.
  2. First published.