Anthony Browne, MP for South Cambridgeshire today welcomed Kwasi Kwarteng, Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy to the constituency to view the thriving local life sciences sector.
Mr Kwarteng took a tour of the Cambridge Biomedical Campus, including the headquarters of AstraZeneca and ABCam, before meeting with local life sciences companies to discuss the local sector and explore how South Cambridgeshire can help drive UK life sciences industry.
Life sciences companies make up a significant element of the local economy in Cambridgeshire. As well as leading the fight against Covid-19, the industry is also a significant employer with the Cambridge Biomedical Campus alone employing more than 20,000 highly skilled workers in diverse fields ranging from biomedical research, patient care, and education.
Mr Kwarteng has engaged with the industry throughout the pandemic, which highlighted the importance of having a strong domestic medicines and diagnostics manufacturing industry. This includes launching a £20 million fund to grow and strengthen the UK’s capabilities, as well as encouraging companies to deploy new technologies, build new factories and harness new advances, including bioprocessing, data and using greener manufacturing processes.
Having recently made headlines across the globe as for its role in developing the Oxford-AstraZenca Vaccine, Astrazenca maintains its headquarters and a range of office and lab facilities on the Biomedical Campus. Abcam is a globally recognised manufacturer and researcher who identifies, develops, and provides biological reagents and tools which are essential in drug discovery, diagnostics and research amongst other fields, and moved into their new headquarters on the Cambridge Biomedical Campus in 2019
Mr Browne has already hosted the Life Sciences Minister, Lord Bethell, in the constituency and joined him on a tour of the AstraZeneca testing centre on the biomedical campus by Addenbrookes. He has since written to the UK's top mobile network operators last year urging them to support our life scientists in a letter co-signed by the heads of South Cambridgeshire's Life Science campuses, and also chairs a regular Life Sciences Forum to keep the dialogue between the government and the local life sciences sector as open and productive as possible.
Anthony Browne MP commented: “Right now, life sciences companies are helping to save the world. We have to ensure our UK industry has the support needed from national government to succeed and grow.”
I am beyond proud of the contribution made by companies and scientists right here in South Cambridgeshire to the life science industry, and it was a pleasure to offer the Secretary of State just a small glimpse into the huge contribution we have yet to offer.
It is incredibly important that BEIS is aware of their achievements and the challenges they still face, and I look forward to working with him to champion the important work life sciences companies are doing in South Cambridgeshire.