Medtech leaders welcome Government's new Science and Technology Framework
The Government's new Science and Technology Strategy will help to maintain the UK's position as a worldwide leader in innovation
Medtech leaders have welcomed the Government’s plans to launch a new framework aimed at cementing the UK’s position as a science and technology superpower by 2030.
Prime Minister, Rishi Sunak, and Science, Innovation and Technology Secretary, Michelle Donelan, this week unveiled plans for a new Science and Technology Framework alongside a raft of new measures backed by over £370m to boost investment in innovation, bring the world’s best talent to the UK, and seize the potential of ground-breaking new technologies like AI.
The framework is the first major piece of work from the newly-created Department for Science, Innovation and Technology and will challenge every part of government to better put the UK at the forefront of global science and technology this decade through 10 key actions – creating a co-ordinated, cross-government approach.
The actions centre on:
Sunak said: “Trailblazing science and innovation have been in our DNA for decades, but in an increasingly-competitive world we can only stay ahead with focus, dynamism, and leadership.
“That’s why we’re setting out 10 key actions under a bold new plan to cement our place as a global science and technology superpower by 2030 – from pursuing transformational technologies like AI and supercomputing to attracting top talent and ensuring they have the tools they need to succeed.
Trailblazing science and innovation have been in our DNA for decades, but in an increasingly-competitive world we can only stay ahead with focus, dynamism, and leadership
“The more we innovate, the more we can grow our economy, create the high-paid jobs of the future, protect our security, and improve lives across the country.”
The move has been welcomed by medtech companies as a way to help drive efficiencies and support the digitisation of health services.
Speaking to BBH, David Lozdan, head of public sector at technology company, Exponential-e, said: “This is exactly the type of initiative the healthcare industry in particular needs.
“With an aging population, post-COVID backlogs, and staff resignations, Britain needs an innovation-first mindset to ensure our investments in data-driven, digital healthcare can effectively improve patient outcomes and enhance the wellbeing of the nation.
“Past funding has been too broad and dispersed without clear objectives so we must focus our resources on specific areas where we can fine-tune solutions and quantify their impact on society as a whole.
“This requires emulating the success of targeted investments, such as the £50m funding granted to the National Pathology Imaging Co-Operative (NPIC) in 2019 through the Data to Early Diagnosis and Precision Medicine strand of the Government’s Industry Strategy Challenge Fund.
The more we innovate, the more we can grow our economy, create the high-paid jobs of the future, protect our security, and improve lives across the country
“That investment alone is helping digitise up to 2.3 million scans a year, making it easier for clinicians to use AI to optimise time to diagnosis, enable preventative care, more effectively collaborate with other healthcare professionals and labs, regardless of location, and – ultimately – saving lives.
“This funding makes it possible to replicate this success in other areas of healthcare, including A&E and biomedicine.
“But we must ensure that our investments in science and technology are targeted and our research is conducted within specific parameters to be effective and tangibly benefit society.
“By doing so, we can bring concrete benefits to patient outcomes, healthcare delivery, and society as a whole.”
The delivery of the new framework will begin immediately with an initial raft of projects, worth around £500m in new and existing funding, which will help ensure the UK has the skills and infrastructure to take a global lead in game-changing technologies.
With an aging population, post-COVID backlogs, and staff resignations, Britain needs an innovation-first mindset to ensure our investments in data-driven, digital healthcare can effectively improve patient outcomes and enhance the wellbeing of the nation
Donelan said: “Innovation and technology are our future. They hold the keys to everything, from raising productivity and wages, to transforming healthcare, reducing energy prices, and ultimately creating jobs and economic growth in the UK, providing the financial firepower allowing us to spend more on public services.
“That is why, today, we are putting the full might of the British Government and our private sector partners behind our push to become a scientific and technological superpower, because only through being world leaders in future industries like AI and quantum will we be able to improve the lives of every Briton.”
The initial package of projects to drive forward the actions of the Science and Technology Framework include: