A new strategy designed to double the number of North East jobs in the health, life sciences and pharmaceuticals industry has been launched.
The North East Health, Life Sciences and Medicines Manufacturing Strategy has been developed by the North East Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) working in partnership with the NHS, businesses, universities and leaders in the health and life sciences sector.
As well as aiming to double the number of jobs in the sector from 12,000 to 24,000 by 2030, the strategy aims to double the number of businesses active in the North East health and life sciences community from 150 to 300.
Lucy Winskell OBE, Chair of the North East LEP, said: “At a time when the world is facing challenges brought by an ageing population, and grappling with the consequences of COVID-19, the North East has the potential to become a leader in developing treatments which can improve quality of life the world over, while stimulating economic growth in our region.”
Health and life sciences is identified as an area of opportunity for the region in the North East Strategic Economic Plan, which is the roadmap for creating 100,000 more and better jobs by 2024.
The Health, Life Sciences and Medicines Manufacturing Strategy identifies opportunities in a number of specific areas including the development of advanced therapies and drug delivery systems, growth of the pharmaceutical manufacturing supply chain, diagnostics development and scale-up, and an evolving ecosystem of innovation centres that supports businesses to start, grow and scale in the North East.
It also lays out the region’s strengths including an advanced manufacturing cluster, contributing significantly to the global pharmaceutical industry, generating £868 million for the regional economy in 2017; an emerging biotech cluster driven by corporate and university spinouts; and a skilled future workforce, with 22,000 students studying health and life sciences at North East universities.
Professor Michael Whitaker FRSA FRSB FMBA FMedSci, Chair, Health and Life Sciences Group, said: “We have a fantastic innovation ecosystem supported by an incredible translational environment where healthcare technologies and medicines are being constantly developed. Forward thinking leadership here in the North East is helping to drive forward global health services and markets – something of which we should all be very proud.”
Professor Chris Day, Vice Chancellor, Newcastle University and Chair of the Office for Strategic Co- ordination of Health Research, commented: “The North East is home to international academic research expertise in health and life sciences which not only provides competitive advantage but creates significant regional benefits. Our growing reputation as a testbed and living lab is enabling us to accelerate innovation as well as attract investment and skills.”
Read the North East Health, Life Sciences and Medicines Manufacturing Strategy here.