Dundee City East MSP, Shona Robison, has spoken of the importance the Life Sciences industry to Dundee and welcomed the recent £25 million investment announced in the Tay Cities Deal to maintain Dundee as an attractive world centre of excellence.
Speaking during a Scottish Parliament debate on recognising the life sciences sector in Scotland, Ms Robison noted that a fifth of Scotland’s life science companies were based in and around the city, with official figures showing the sector employed nearly 1,000 people.
Speaking after the debate, Ms Robison said,
“The Scottish Government has identified the Life Sciences sector as a key growth industry as part of their Economic Strategy and I am delighted Dundee is one of the leading locations for the industry with a near 27% increase in employment in recent years.
“The city offers a wide range of expertise from all over the world, for example, advancing therapies in making precision medicines, targeted to the individual patient and researching environmental biotechnology.
“The Gross Value Added or the measure of the value of goods and services provided for life science enterprises in Dundee rose from £28.4 million in 2008 to £51.3 million in 2016, representing an increase of 81% compared to an increase at Scottish level for the same period of 65%.
“Dundee’s continued success as a key location is the close relationship between the city’s two universities, James Hutton Institute, private companies and NHS Tayside.
“The growth in the life sciences sector in the city can only have a positive knock-on effect for other businesses in the city, such as the service and hospitality industries.
“However, there is a need for continued investment to maintain Dundee’s position as one of the leading life sciences hubs, ensuring highly skilled, high waged employment in the city.
“Therefore, I am delighted, as part of the Tay Cities Deal, a £25 million investment to grow the Tayside Biomedical Cluster was announced late last year.
“This investment will help Dundee and surrounding areas as an attractive world leading centre of excellence and sought after biomedical location in the UK.
“However, with less than two months remaining, the industry remains unclear exactly how Brexit will affect legal and regulatory requirements for the life sciences industry in the UK and Europe.
“Dundee has proven itself as a leading hub for life sciences but with deep concerns from researchers and industry leaders as how Brexit will affect research collaborations, development, and the ability of companies based in the city to continue working with their continental partners, the UK Government need to state what model it will adopt for its relationship with the EU.”
NOTES TO EDITOR:
There were 20 Life Science Enterprises operating in Dundee City in 2018.
The total turnover of life science enterprises in Dundee City rose from £62.7 million in 2008 to £94.6 million 2017. This represents an increase of 51% compared to an increase at Scottish level for the same period of 15%
Gross Value Added for life science enterprises in Dundee rose from £28.4 million in 2008 to £51.3 million in 2016. This represents an increase of 81% compared to an increase at Scottish level for the same period of 65%
Total employment in life science companies rose from 700 to 900 between 2009 and 2017 in Dundee City. This represents an increase of 28.6% compared to an increase at Scottish level for the same period of 22.3%
It is estimated that the academic and support staff and research student numbers at the University of Dundee have increased by an average of 5% each year since 2001 and the University has confirmed that they currently have 685 substantive staff.
Donald Morrison – 01382 903219