Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala contributes £800m towards UK life sciences

An Abu Dhabi sovereign investor has committed an initial £800 million towards the development of life sciences in the United Kingdom over the next five years through a brand new partnership.

Mubadala Investment Company – which manages a global portfolio of assets valued at $229 billion – has signed a long-term investment agreement with the UK’s newly established Office for Investment (OfI). This agreement has created the UAE-UK Sovereign Investment Partnership (SIP), which will “serve as a coordinated investment framework to grow a future-focused relationship between the two nations, driving economic recovery, jobs and growth.”

The first agreement of its kind for the OfI will deepen the existing UK-UAE trade and investment ties that were reportedly “worth £32 billion in 2019,” according to Mubadala.

“The UAE and UK are aligned on the importance of global action on critical priorities such as healthcare innovation and delivery, climate change and the sustainable growth of high-skilled industries,” said Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Managing Director and Group CEO of Mubadala. “Coordination on investment and global innovation ecosystems is vital to enabling progress against these challenges and presents a significant post-COVID economic opportunity for the UK and UAE.

“Mubadala is already a long-term investor in UK innovation and growth, and our new partnership now provides a platform to allocate stable capital to priority sectors as part of a future-focused investment relationship.”

THE LARGER CONTEXT

The investment company’s £800 million will be added to the UK’s £200-million Life Sciences Investment Programme announced last year, which aims at supporting life sciences businesses in the UK to scale and grow. Mubadala and the OfI will reportedly work together to identify “commercially viable opportunities” for investment into the sector.

Mubadala has also pledged to connect UK-based industries to research and innovation initiatives across its global portfolio of more than 50 countries, which focuses on innovation and technology-led sectors.

Life science industries in the UK reportedly currently employ more than 250,000 people and generate an estimated £80 billion turnover a year. The SIP will invest across various technology and innovation-led sectors, such as infrastructure, to support job creation in both countries, as well as strengthen national research.

ON THE RECORD

“The UAE is an important trading partner for the UK and home to some of the world’s largest and most experienced investment companies. It’s fantastic that we are collaborating more closely in the industries of tomorrow like science, tech and green growth, so we can build back better and deliver an investment-led, jobs-led recovery from coronavirus,” said UK International Trade Secretary, Liz Truss. “This is a major win for the OfI and shows how the UK is an investment destination of choice. From Liverpool and Edinburgh to Oxford and Nottingham, our world class life sciences clusters and innovative businesses will see the benefits of this partnership.”

Gerry Grimstone, UK Minister for Investment added: “This partnership will enable the UK life sciences sector to develop cutting-edge technologies and research while retaining homegrown innovation and jobs. It will also leverage the UK and UAE’s mutual priorities in building better and stronger economies through investment.

“Attracting and enabling strategic international investors to operate effectively in the UK is vital to job creation and our growth as a world leader in life sciences, clean growth, tech and innovation. Mubadala is exactly the calibre of investor that we want to partner with to enable vital pillars of our economy to advance.”

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