Support and investment in UK Life Sciences

With the increasing cost, risk and complexity of research and development, it has become increasingly challenging for life sciences companies to commercialise medical innovation.

To address this challenge, the Government is introducing a suite of fiscal measures, a combination of targeted investment and funding as well as business and tax incentives, to stimulate innovation and growth for start-ups and SMEs through to large global enterprises. By locating in the UK, your business also becomes eligible for funding initiatives from the European Commission.

Patent Box

The UK’s capabilities and strengths

Clinical translation

From April 2013 the UK Government will be introducing a Patent Box, which allows companies to elect to apply 10% rate of corporation tax to all profits attributable to qualifying patents, whether paid separately as royalties or embedded in the sales price of products.

R&D tax credits

R&D tax credits are the single biggest UK Government support for business investment in R&D.

The scheme for Small and Medium Sized Enterprises (SMEs) is amongst the most generous in the world. The SME scheme provides relief worth approximately 25p on every £1 of qualifying expenditure. Companies claiming under the SME scheme can also claim relief for R&D subcontracted to other enterprises. Large companies applying to the scheme receive relief worth approximately 7p on every £1 of qualifying expenditure.

From April 2013, large companies will be able to claim an ‘Above the Line’ Credit for their qualifying R&D expenditure. This is designed to increase the visibility and certainty of UK R&D relief and provide greater financial and cash flow support to companies with no corporation tax liability.

Regional Growth Fund (RGF)

The Government’s Regional Growth Fund (RGF) is a £2.4bn fund operating across England from 2011 to 2015. It supports projects and programmes that lever private sector investment to create economic growth and sustainable employment, ensuring that your company can thrive in a business-friendly English region.

UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UK RPIF)

The £300million UK Research Partnership Investment Fund, managed by the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), will lever more than double this in private investment into higher education research facilities and stimulate strategic research partnerships between university, businesses and charities. The following projects relevant to life sciences were announced in 2012, securing £146.5million from the Fund.

Key Fact

In 2012 the MRC and TSB committed £180m over three years to the Biomedical Catalyst.

Biomedical Catalyst

The Biomedical Catalyst is a £180million programme of public funding designed to deliver growth to the UK life sciences sector. Delivered jointly by the Medical Research Council and the Technology Strategy Board, the Biomedical Catalyst provides responsive and effective support for the best life science opportunities arising in the UK and seeks to support those opportunities which demonstrate the highest scientific and commercial potential, irrespective of medical area.

Bringing innovation to the patient: Invention for Innovation

Invention for Innovation is a research award from the National Institute for Health Research which aims to support and advance the development of innovative medical technologies and their translation into the clinical environment for the benefit of patients in the NHS in England and Wales. It is a patient focused source of early or late-stage product development funding for R&D collaborations between UK healthcare academics, clinicians and industry.

For further information on support and investment options for your business please read the new UK Life Science Prospectus which can be downloaded here.

Contact us

UK Trade and Investment (UKTI) can provide further information in a range of areas such as market opportunities, local skills and expertise, industry clusters, universities, incentives and funding support. Contact the Invest in the UK team by completing an enquiry form here.

Sectors: Life Sciences and Science
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