Investment in diagnostics: a call from BIVDA
The British In Vitro Diagnostics Association (BIVDA) has called for an economic recovery based on developing the UK as a science superpower, with a policy focus on advanced manufacturing, research and innovation, and highly skilled jobs.
In its submission to Rishi Sunak, BIVDA identifies three priorities for investment in the Chancellor’s financial package next month;
Investment in Innovation – Allocating greater resources towards translating science into commercial products. This can be achieved by better co-ordination of diagnostic funding activity across the various UK Government organizations (NIHR, Innovate etc.) and a focus on innovation in manufacturing and investment in manufacturing capability.
Supporting Advanced Manufacturing – Building the UK critical mass by supporting investment in manufacturing in the will be vital in ensuring that we have the capacity to rapidly scale up our testing ability in the face of future pandemics. This can be done on a macro-level, providing organizations like the Northern Powerhouse with financial support to invest in manufacturing-focused diagnostic business, or on a company-level, provision of asset-backed support to allow SMEs to grow and scale-up
High-Skilled Jobs – Developing a large pool of talent within the UK to support the growth of the sector will underpin all other efforts – advanced research and manufacturing simply cannot happen without a highly-skilled workforce. For the UK to tackle the challenges of the future, the Government should invest in an R&D workforce with a range of different skills, experiences and training, drawing on the contribution of individuals from diverse backgrounds. By 2025, there could be up to 4.2 million highly skilled jobs without suitable candidates – a skills gap that could cost the economy £90 billion each year.
Commenting on the proposals, BIVDA Chief Executive Doris-Ann Williams said: “Only with a concerted effort and government support can we ensure that the UK life sciences sector can compete on a global level, bringing better health outcomes, advanced manufacturing capability and highly skilled jobs to our country. As the economy recovers from the pandemic, we want the British IVD sector to be front and centre of economic growth, and our targeted package of measures for this Budget will help achieve these aims.”