The House of Lords Science and Technology Committee has published its report Life Sciences Industrial Strategy: Who’s driving the bus? In the report, the Committee highlighted the importance of the SBRI Healthcare initiative as a vehicle to address the challenges in securing funding for SMEs and early stage life science companies.
To date, SBRI Healthcare has supported over 180 SMEs with early stage funding and has leveraged over £250m of private investment into the sector with our awards.
The success of the life sciences sector is vital to the UK economy and the health and wellbeing of the population. The report focused on the issues that require immediate action to ensure the development and expansion of the sector.
Among the Committee’s recommendations was the desire to grow opportunities for public investment in early stage life science technology – a desire echoed by SBRI Healthcare. SBRI Healthcare would recommend that, to this end, the Government draws on the work of David Connell as set out in his report of SBRI in November 2017.
The Committee further recommended that there should be a single body with complete oversight of its implementation called the Life Sciences Governing Body. The Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Secretary and the Health and Social Care Secretary must ensure this Body has the cross-Government backing it needs to do its work.
The Committee urged the NHS to give greater priority to the uptake and spread of innovation and to rewarding clinicians and managers who make such adoption successful – recommending that the Government explore how it can offer financial incentives to those NHS trusts that adopt and spread proven innovations.
Chairman of the Committee, Lord Patel, said:
“If implemented correctly the Life Sciences Industrial Strategy will make a major contribution to the future economic prosperity of the UK but what became clear throughout our inquiry is that it stands little chance of success without a detailed plan for implementation and clear lines of authority, responsibility and accountability.
“The Government has an opportunity right now to get ahead of international competition. It can, and must, take bold steps to secure the future growth and expansion of the life sciences sector. This is even more vital as the UK prepares for life outside the European Union.”