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Almost 200 Life Science Organisations Appeal to the UK Government Ahead of 2015 Spending Review


In advance of the spending review by the UK government, nearly 200 life science organisations, including AstraZeneca, Pfizer, and the Wellcome Trust, have written to request that the life sciences are protected amidst the expected cuts. Only time will tell if the letter – and the knowledge that science is a crucial part of the economy and the people’s wellbeing – will ensure that cuts to life sciences in the UK are not made.

The semi-regular spending review carried out by the UK government has spared the life sciences for the last few years, but there are concerns that this situation will soon change. The Department for Business, Innovation, and Skills (BIS) has been asked to suggest cuts of 25% and 40% to the Treasury, and the Conservative Party has not committed to maintaining current levels of spending. At the moment, according to the Financial Times, the UK life sciences industry boasts an estimated annual turnover of £56 billion, and it provides jobs for 183,000 people.

A large amount of the life sciences industry relies on public funding to thrive – most notably, cross-disciplinary research. Medical research charities also play a crucial role, with over 12,000 researchers employed across the UK as a result of charitable donations backed by government funding.

The Wellcome Trust and others have come together in an attempt to ensure that the current level of innovation and development can continue; perhaps even be improved upon. The current scientific climate allows UK organisations and institutions to attract international funding and investment, which in turn benefit the economy. A recent speech by George Osborne, Chancellor of the Exchequer, highlighted his personal commitment to the life sciences – the signatories of this letter hope to remind him of this.

Organisations like The NC3Rs, which receives funding from BIS, need assurance that their income stream will continue. The NC3Rs supported the development of ActualHCA, and consistently spur innovation with annual CRACK IT Challenges.

To read the letter from these organisations in full, click here. To learn more about ActualHCA and the CRACK IT Challenge that led to its development, click here. For information on our home cage analysis technology, get in touch today.