Press

Briggs calls on SNP to back Scottish science industry

MSPs at the Scottish Parliament have today debated the contribution that science, innovation and research makes to Scotland’s economy.

Lothian has a vibrant life sciences sector which underpins many jobs locally, such as Edinburgh Genomics at the Roslin Institute and was able to see their clinical facility and gene sequencing labs.

The work being undertaken by Professor Bruce Whitelaw and his team, at the Roslin Institute, is truly inspiring and has massive potential which means Scotland is well placed to play a leading role in both exploiting and showing the world the potential for genomic technologies to make significant impact on health provision.

Any new political deal with the EU may provide some short term challenges as some funding systems change but the UK Government is committed to work with industry and academia to resolve issues and to support these sectors.

Indeed the UK Government, early in the withdrawal process, guaranteed funding for UK research projects otherwise supported by the EU until 2020 and it is continuing to look at how it will support research post 2020.

Scottish Conservatives believe that instead of spreading doom and gloom, 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

The recently published Fraser of Allander Institute report showed that the pharmaceutical industry supports a total of £2.5 billion worth of industrial output in Scotland and that exports of manufactured pharmaceutical products contribute £462 million to the Scottish economy with the sector supporting directly over 5,000 jobs.

Miles Briggs, Scottish Conservative Lothian MSP, said:

“At some point SNP Ministers are going to have to actually get behind Scotland.

“The more the SNP talk down Scotland’s science, innovation and research sectors the greater impact this has on international companies looking to invest in Scotland.

“We should all be working to realise the potential of Scotland’s research and scientific sectors to the Scottish economy.”

ENDs…

Miles Briggs