What are the Office for Life Sciences’ plans?

Posted on March 13, 2012 by

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Some interesting info on the Office for Life Sciences (OLS) in some answers to parliamentary questions from Chi Onwurah today.

  • The OLS is planning to publish a new business plan in April.
  • Over 2012/13 one of its priorities will be implementing the Strategy for UK Life Sciences that was announced on 5 December 2012.
  • Its budget is due to remain at £121,000 per annum for the rest of this spending period. Staffing etc is being tweaked at the moment as it is undergoing a restructure.

So we should here more about the OLS’s plans soon.

In some questions asked by Adam Afriyie at the end of February about the UK Life Sciences Strategy, the government confirmed that the Life Sciences Advisory Board outlined in the strategy is being established at the moment and may be developed from an existing group. It will be interested to see how this works with the restructured OLS in implementing the strategy, whether there will be some overlap?

The questions

In hansard here.

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills pursuant to the answer of 21 November 2011,Official Report, column 149W, on Office for Life Sciences, how many full-time equivalent staff in each pay band he estimates will be employed in the Office for Life Sciences in each of the next three years; and what budget he has allocated for the Office for Life Sciences in each such year. [98893]

12 Mar 2012 : Column 96W

Mr Willetts [holding answer 8 March 2012]: The Office for Life Sciences (OLS) is currently undergoing a restructure. It is not possible at this time to confirm what the exact grade allocations will be in 2012/13. However, while the balance of roles across grades may alter, the overall headcount is likely to remain broadly the same as for 2011/12.

The OLS staff budget in 2011-12 remains at £692,700. The OLS is staffed as follows:

Grade Number of staff (at January 2012)
SCS 1
Grade 6 0
Grade 7 5
SEO 4
HEO 0
EO 3
Fast Stream 2
Total 15

Chi Onwurah: To ask the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills how many projects the Office for Life Sciences has completed since May 2010; what projects are underway; and what the budget is of each such project. [98894]

Mr Willetts [holding answer 8 March 2012]: In 2010/11 the Office for Life Sciences (OLS) had a budget of £84,000 covering three projects. The projects were completed as reflected in Table 1.

Table 1
Project Actual
Clinical Trials Data Phase 1 6,000.00
Extension to the Bioscience and Healthcare Database to include Pharmaceutical Sector 53,735.00
Clinical Trials Data Phase 2 7,100.00
Total 66,835.00

In 2011/12, the OLS had a project budget of £121,000. Completed projects are reflected in Table 2.

Table 2
Project Actual
Bibliometric Analysis of Regenerative Medicine 23,775.00
Strategy for UK Life Sciences (analysis, publication and communications) 38,728.70
Total 62,503.70

The OLS is currently agreeing its business plan, which is expected to be published in April 2012. Priority projects for 2012/13 will be those that involve implementation of the Strategy for UK Life Sciences. At present a budget has not been confirmed at individual project level, but the OLS programme budget is expected to remain at £121,000 per annum, until the end of the spending review period in 2014/15.