Life sciences in Scotland

Industry focused on £8bn target.

Steps to grow turnover in Scotland’s life sciences sector to £8 billion by 2025 have been outlined at the first life sciences Industry Leadership Group (ILG) meeting of 2017.

Minister for Business, Energy and Innovation Paul Wheelhouse – who co-chairs the group with life sciences business leader Dave Tudor – led discussions on the implementation of the recently-published Life Sciences Strategy for Scotland - 2025. The group also discussed the potential job losses at Johnson and Johnson’s Ethicon facility in Livingston due to a global restructuring.

The industry-led strategy sets out plans to grow turnover in the sector - which currently employs more than 37,000 people - to £8 billion by 2025.

Mr Wheelhouse said:

“Scotland has a thriving life sciences business community and is a hub for world leading expertise in the life sciences field.

“Our strategy sets out a vision of a successful industry that builds on our existing strengths to create high-value jobs and generate further sustainable growth.

“Growing the sector’s turnover to £8 billion by 2025 is an ambitious but achievable target, and I have been impressed again by the enthusiasm and the commitment from the industry members represented at the ILG.”

Mr Wheelhouse was also updated on how the industry is responding to recent news of potential jobs losses at Johnson and Johnson’s Ethicon facility in Livingston. He said:

“Clearly, we remain disappointed that Johnson and Johnson has announced that it is entering consultation with staff on the potential closure of its Ethicon facility in Livingston, placing around 400 jobs at risk. 

“We have been engaging with Johnson and Johnson, along with our enterprise agencies, to  understand the commercial drivers for their decision and to explore every possible support for the business.  That work has been detailed and intensive, looking at what we can do both to help address immediate business challenges, and to maximise the site’s future potential. Our focus now is on working with J&J to try to find a new owner for the site and on doing all we can to support the affected staff through this difficult period. 

“The work we will be taking forward under the key themes of the strategy will not make us immune to future challenges, such as this, but it will continue to ensure we are an attractive destination for companies wishing to invest, while also developing our already well-established indigenous business base.”


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