Chancellor of the Exchequer Jeremy Hunt today (15 March 2023) delivered the Budget in the House of Commons. Among his announcements were plans to launch new investment zones to ‘supercharge’ hi-tech growth and further support for Research and Development intensive SMEs.
Dr Séamus O’Neill, Chief Executive of the Northern Health Science Alliance, said:
Innovation drives economic growth and the new investment zones will support the North to build on the excellence that exists across our region. The measures announced today will begin to address decades of unbalanced policies and it is good news government is stimulating the capacity for innovation and importantly trusting us to get on with it.
The Chancellor also committed to a £1.8bn package for small and medium-sized businesses that spend more than 40% of their budget on research and development (R&D). Those businesses will receive £27 credit for every £100 they spend on R&D. We welcome this announcement, which will see many of our partners and members in the North benefit hugely from their ground-breaking research that seeks to improve the health and outcomes of people in the UK.
It is heartening that the Chancellor recognises the life sciences as a high-growth sector and wants to support further growth in this area across the UK. Plans to extend British Patient Capital by 10 years and increase its focus on R&D intensive industries is great news, as are the plans for faster approval of drugs which will make the life sciences sector across the UK more competitive.
Within our region, we want to build on the excellence in our Universities and in the NHS to support life science companies. In high-tech sectors, the companies will create the products and services that are needed in 21st-century health and social care, creating both the high-quality jobs that our region needs and ultimately the economic environment that moves the dial on inequalities and the wider determinants of health.
The type of investment promised by the Chancellor today helps to underpin the infrastructure that drives and supports innovation.
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