UK Gov publishes Industrial Strategy

Theresa May U.K. prime minister at the Eastern Partnership Summit in Brussels Belgium on Nov. 24 2017

The pharma company - known as Merck & Co in the USA and Canada - also intends to move around 800 workers from its current headquarters in Hoddesdon, Hertfordshire, and says it is scouting out locations for the new site with the aim of starting operations in 2020.

"We are renowned for innovation and discovery, with some of the best universities and research institutions in the world producing some of the most inventive people on earth".

Jeremy Hunt, the health secretary, said that the new research facility from the company, also known as MSD, should reassure patients that Britain would remain on the front line in the search for new treatments.

The government had already previously committed £1 billion to the first wave of Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund projects, including investing £246m in next generation battery technology and £86 million in robotics hubs across the UK. The NHS has a proud history of spearheading medical innovation and today's investment in our strong and growing life sciences sector will see patients in the United Kingdom continue to benefit from world-leading research and pioneering medicines.

Babs Murphy, chief executive of the North and Western Lancashire Chamber of Commerce said: "We have been working with the government to develop the Industrial Strategy, and we are pleased that the concerns and ideas of business communities across the country have been listened to".

PM Theresa May said the Strategy would provide a blueprint for businesses to deliver a "stronger and fairer economy far years to come".

"Investments by world-renowned companies like MSD and QIAGEN demonstrate that the UK's science base is truly world-leading and an exceptional national strength".

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"There must be no missed turns on the path to United Kingdom 2030", she said.

The industrial strategy follows hot on the heels of the clean growth strategy (CGS), launched in October. This new campus will generate skilled jobs and attract companies from across the world to the North West, the government said, while the company has also confirmed that it is going to expand its current operations in Manchester with the potential to create 800 skilled jobs.

"These deals are just the first steps but will be instrumental in securing the future strength of the United Kingdom life sciences industry, helping the United Kingdom economy prosper and allowing NHS patients to get better and faster access to world-class medicines discovered and developed here in Britain".

"The Industrial Strategy is an unashamedly ambitious vision for the future of our country, laying out how we tackle our productivity challenge, earn our way in the future, and improve living standards across the country". This could mean around £80 billion of additional investment in advanced technology in the next decade, helping to transform whole sectors, create new industries, and support innovation across the country.

However, the report states that the move to cleaner economic growth through low carbon technologies and the efficient use of resources is at the same time "one of the greatest industrial opportunities of our time" estimating that the UK's clean economy could grow at four times the rate of GDP.

The white paper follows extensive engagement by government with industry, academia and business bodies who submitted nearly 2,000 responses to the green paper consultation earlier in 2017.

The announcement also offered open invitations to businesses, academic groups and civil society to work and engage with the government to innovate and develop new technologies in these fields.

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