The Contribution of Medical Research Funding by Charities to the Welsh Economy

Fraser of Allander Institute; Black, James and Cooper, Benjamin and McGeoch, Adam and Spowage, Mairi. (2022) The Contribution of Medical Research Funding by Charities to the Welsh Economy. University of Strathclyde, Glasgow.

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Medical research by charities is an important component of the Welsh economy. In addition to the obvious socio-economic benefits of medical research such as improved health outcomes and better health technologies, medical research also contributes positively to the Welsh economy. One of the key drivers for medical research in Wales is the growing life sciences sector with 12,000 people employed across 300 companies and an annual turnover of around £2 billion1. This is reflected in the Life Sciences Hub, established by the Welsh Government. This institution aims to build on the life sciences sector by boosting innovation and improving collaboration between health, industry, charities, social care and academia. The Covid-19 pandemic has also accelerated the role that R&D has to play in the Welsh economy. Science and innovation have played a crucial role in attempts to curtail the virus and provide treatment which have allowed the loosening of restrictions and the re-opening of the economy. This report assesses the economic contribution and wider spill-over effects of medical research expenditure by charities to the Welsh economy. The analysis focuses only on the economic impact of charity-funded medical research expenditure in Wales. It does not account for capital expenditure, non-medical research and research undertaken in other countries. We also refer to 2019 figures throughout this report due to the unprecedented effects of the Covid-19 pandemic on third sector medical research. This provides a more accurate representation of the economic contribution of medical research activities in Wales.

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