A LEADING figure from Scotland’s life sciences industry has said it is vital that the country’s world-leading research expertise leads to more manufacturing jobs in the future if a stronger and more resilient sector is to be built.
And Dave Tudor, who has a global role with one of the world’s biggest pharmaceutical companies, maintained that Scotland’s skills, innovation and more surprisingly tough regulatory environment and taxation framework made it an attractive proposition for manufacturers in the sector.
Says a spokesperson: “Already a success story – with 32,000 people employed in a sector that turns over £3 billion per annum – the Scottish Government wants to see life sciences double its turnover by the year 2020. Scottish Enterprise is working with the sector on work to help meet that ambitious aim.”
At an event organised by Irvine Bay Regeneration Company – the Irvine Enterprise Area being developed by the company has a focus on life sciences – people from industry and Government gathered to discuss how to take the sector forward.
Says a spokesperson: “Dave Tudor, vice-president of Primary Supply Chain for pharmaceutical giant GlaxoSmithKline, told the meeting that all of the pieces of the jigsaw existed in Scotland to create a healthy and prosperous sector that could meet the targets being set.
“A member of the Scottish Government’s Life Sciences Advisory Board and lead author of its manufacturing strategy, he stressed Scotland’s place as a leading nation for medical and scientific research – in the top three for output on a per capita basis.
“However, to fully develop this, more of the important research work has to lead to manufacturing jobs as Scotland’s economy shares in the employment success its innovations could bring.”
Mr Tudor said: “Jobs in the sector are well paid – well above the national average and are skilled. We need to see all of the research we do lead to jobs that stay in Scotland.”
The spokesperson added: “He stressed that the UK’s tough regulatory environment is now seen as a positive – assurance that production from the UK met the highest standards – as problems encountered in manufacturing operations in developing and emerging economies around the world have seen many major manufacturers and regulatory authorities look again at outsourcing.
“He believed the Enterprise Area created at Irvine by the Scottish Government last year offered the sector a terrific window of opportunity – offering high-quality, well-connected and well-serviced sites and buildings across the spectrum, from offices and laboratories to manufacturing.”
GSK intend to work with businesses in the Enterprise Area to offer services, such as waste disposal and canteen facilities along with security, to help see the area develop.
Patrick Wiggins, chief executive of Irvine Bay Regeneration Company, outlined the range of benefits which the Enterprise Area – based on the i3 business park and land around GlaxoSmithKline – could offer life sciences and other businesses, including Business Rates Relief and Capital Allowances.
He also stressed that buildings met a high standard, sites were large and flat, and that there was superb access to all services including superfast broadband and an abundance of power, drainage and waste management.
Mr Wiggins said: “We believe we have a very strong proposition to bring to bear, to work with the sector in its broadest sense to help it develop and meet its goals. We have a range of incentives that can be offered, but just as important is the high quality of what is on offer, the flexibility and competitiveness of the offer, and the high level of connectivity the site enjoys.”
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