Office for Life Sciences supporting implementation of life sciences strategy

Posted on May 2, 2012 by


Interesting parliamentary question about the Office for Life Sciences asked by Lord Laird yesterday. Confirms that the OLS now sits entirely within BIS and will play a role in ensuring the Strategy for UK Life Sciences announced on 5 December is implemented.

To ask Her Majesty’s Government what has been the resource budget of the Office for Life Sciences in each year since it was established; what it will be in each of the next three years; what discussions (1) the Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, and (2) the Minister of State for Universities and Science, have had with HM Treasury Ministers about the Office since July 2011, and with what results.[HL16960]

The Parliamentary Under-Secretary of State, Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (Baroness Wilcox): The Office for Life Sciences (OLS) was established in January 2009 comprising officials from the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), HM Treasury, the Department of Health (DH) and UK Trade and Investment (UKTI). The OLS had a remit to work with the life sciences industry to build a sustainable and integrated industry in the UK in the future. Its work culminated in the Life Sciences Blueprint, published in July 2009, followed by Life Sciences 2010: Delivering the Life Sciences Blueprint, published in January 2010.

In May 2010, the OLS was restructured with all staff now funded by my department. The OLS continues to work closely and collaboratively with the Department of Health to ensure the UK maintains and builds on its world leading position in life sciences.

Given the cross-departmental working arrangements prior to May 2010, data relating to the resource budget are only available from that point, as follows:

Financial Year Month Budget £
2010-11 May 1,185.544
2010-11 June 970,050
2011-12 April 692,700

In December 2011, the Prime Minister launched the Strategy for UK Life Sciences. This sets out an ambitious programme of activity designed to position the UK as the global hub for life sciences and the location of choice for investment, thus contributing to sustained economic growth.

The OLS is currently undergoing a reorganisation to ensure the strategy implementation is properly supported. The reorganisation will utilise vacant posts, and operate within the same staffing envelope and resource budget to ensure more focused responsibilities and greater efficiency. It is not possible at this time to confirm what the exact resource budget will be in 2012-13 but it is likely to remain broadly the same as for 2011-12.

No discussions about the OLS have taken place between HM Treasury Ministers and BIS Ministers.