American pharmaceutical company Merck, and German life sciences organization Qiagen will soon be opening research facilities in the UK, creating 1,750 jobs. The news is part of the British government’s plans to revitalize the country’s economy as the aftermath of the Brexit decision begins to take its toll on the sciences sector.
According to the Conservative government, Merck will open a research facility in London by 2020, creating 150 new jobs for scientists along with an additional 800 jobs for other staff. Qiagen’s genomics and diagnostics center will be located in Manchester, bringing up to 800 new jobs to Northwest England.
Britain’s decision to leave the European Union is forecast to have an impact on all of the countries’ industries, not least of which is the life sciences. Scientists from other member states will no longer be able to move freely to the UK, causing analysts to fear that Britain could soon face a shortage of scientists, engineers and other skilled workers.
To make matters worse, the European Medicines Agency (EMA) announced they’ll be relocating to Amsterdam by 2019. The move will take 900 jobs away from London, prompting the British government to announce the creation of new jobs not long after the EMA’s news was released.
“Britain’s productivity performance has not been good enough, and is holding back our earning power as a country,” said Business Secretary Greg Clark.
A total of £725 million pounds has been set aside by the British government to invest in the life sciences, along with new technologies such as artificial intelligence and self-driving cars. According to Clark, these investments will be made “with the aim of making the UK the world’s most innovative nation by 2030.”