A brief update from me this week as I wing my way back from Whistler, catching up with the BIOTECanada team – more on that next week.

The productivity of the UK’s life science sector is more than double the UK average, according to a new report launched today by PwC. The report, ‘The Economic contribution of the UK Life Sciences industry’, commissioned by the ABPI and supported by BIA, ABHI and BIVDA, shows that the average productivity of UK Life Sciences employees, expressed as Gross Value Added (GVA), is £104,000 compared to the UK GVA average of £49,000.

With the publication of the Government’s recent green paper, ‘Building our Industrial Strategy’, the Prime Minister has begun delivering on her commitment to have a ‘proper industrial strategy’. For the Life Sciences sector, much of the detailed work is underway and clearly establishes the industry as being of critical strategic importance to the UK economy.

PwC’s commissioned review of the sector demonstrates that almost half a million UK jobs are supported by the Life Sciences sector, with the average GVA per employee over twice the UK average at £104,000. The activities of our companies directly contributed £14.5bn to the UK economy in 2015, with an additional £15.9bn provided through the Life Sciences supply chain and employee spending.

By coming together as the Life Sciences sector, for the first time we have a collaborative report to determine our economic impact in the UK. This report reinforces the great value that our sector, and members, bring at a crucial time of change and opportunity. Many thanks to all BIA members who completed the survey and contributed to the report – do take a look and download it here.

Last week I attended the latest UK EU Life Sciences Steering Group meeting, an essential component of our on-going industry engagement with Government. To stay up to date with developments, don’t forget we are now hosting monthly update webinars, the next of which takes place on Friday. More details here.

Innovate UK has now launched Round 2 of its Health and Life Sciences call. This is the latest in a series of Innovate UK competitions providing support for our sector, including the Biomedical Catalyst 2017 and the £11m awarded through the cell and gene therapy industrial manufacture competition at the end of last year. Read a statement from Ian McCubbin, Co-Chair of the Advanced Therapies Manufacturing Taskforce, welcoming the recent funding here.

On Wednesday, Chancellor Philip Hammond will deliver his Spring Budget. As always, we’ll be following the speech on the day and delivering our take on the announcements for the life science sector via our blog – available here on the day. Our submission to the Spring Budget also can be viewed in full here.