Opinion: A shot in the arm

Our annual business review reveals that some countries are seeing a lot more investment in new cleanroom facilities than others

Susan Birks
Deputy Editor

Our annual business review in the January issue of Cleanroom Technology reveals that some countries are seeing a lot more investment in new cleanroom facilities than others.

The UK has certainly fallen behind in recent years, so the plans announced in December by the UK Government to encourage investment and growth in the life science sector were welcomed by many. An extra £495m in capital funding has been promised for science as well as £800m for biomedical research centres.

Part of the plan includes reforms to the country’s health service (NHS), which, if adopted, will remove some of the red tape and bureaucracy that currently prevent patients from receiving the best treatments and thus aid the long-term growth of the life science sector and the UK economy.

The UK Technology Strategy Board (TSB), meanwhile, has announced plans for a Technology and Innovation Centre in Cell Therapy in London. The new centre, due to open its doors for business during spring 2012, will receive funding of £10m a year over a five-year period.

The High-Value Manufacturing centre is already open and those for Cell Therapy and Offshore Renewable Energy are also due to open in 2012. The TSB plans to establish a minimum of six such institutions by summer 2013 under the new name of “Catapult centres”. These are designed to “close the gap between concept and commercialisation”, thrusting the UK out of economic recession, says the TSB.

Let us hope that the UK Government has more up its sleeve than just rebranding!