Dean Lockhart MSP has today outlined the contribution of the life sciences sector to the Scottish economy.
Scotland has one of the largest Life Sciences clusters in Europe which employs over 37,000 people across over 700 organisations and contributes £5.2 billion to the economy.
Scotland is also the home to a wide range of multi-nationals, as well as SMEs, with a strong track record of creating of growing start-ups in the fields such as human healthcare, pharmaceuticals, agri-tech, industrial biotechnology and aquaculture.
In the debate, Mr Lockhart outlined not only the importance of the sector but also further steps which could be taken by the Scottish Government to help the sector to grow.
Leading the debate for the Scottish Conservatives, the Shadow Cabinet Secretary for the Economy highlighted the concerns of the Scottish Life Sciences Association in their letter to the First Minister which outlined their worries about the growing tax gap between Scotland and the rest of the United Kingdom and its impact on recruitment.
Mr Lockhart also pointed to the support of the UK Government’s Industrial Strategy which is helping to invest heavily in the sector through the Industrial Strategy Challenges Fund which has recently contributed £13 million to the UK Medicines Manufacturing Centre in Renfrewshire.
The SNP and Scottish Government should be making a similar commitment to back these important sectors, look at what they can do to help them and send out the message globally that Scotland and the UK are open for business and want to see more research, development and innovation take place here