Edwina Hart, Minister for Business, Enterprise, Technology and Science
Today I announced a Welsh Life Sciences Fund, to transform the Life Sciences sector in Wales. The Life Sciences Wales Investment Fund will be a dedicated equity fund worth up to £100 Million to invest into life sciences businesses located in Wales.
The Fund is designed to ensure that Life Sciences businesses can start and grow in Wales. It will capture the commercial potential of the significant investment being made by the Welsh Government into Science R&D in Wales.
Wales already has a promising Life Sciences sector, which is worth at least £1.3 Billion to the Welsh economy. Investments made by the Fund will enable businesses to grow faster and further by developing, for example, innovative technologies and therapies for the NHS and bringing them quickly to market. This should reduce costs and improve patient care.
The Fund complements the Welsh Government’s new science strategy ‘Science for Wales - a strategic agenda for science and innovation in Wales’, which was launched yesterday by the First Minister and included an additional £50 Million for Science R&D in Welsh universities over the next five years. The Welsh Government also invests over £40 Million in NHS Wales R&D every year. The Fund will ensure that commercial outcomes from this R&D investment are retained in Wales.
The Welsh Government is putting £25 Million into the Fund immediately, to enable the Fund to make its first investments into businesses this year.
Our Life Sciences Panel anticipates the Fund will attract match funding from the private sector. A dedicated Investment Panel and Fund Management Team will be recruited shortly. These will be experienced life sciences investors with a proven track record of success at an UK and global level.