Healthcare and life sciences

The UK has a globally unique health and life sciences ecosystem. Our track record of scientific breakthroughs is driving the next generation of life-changing treatments, technologies and services. We offer a national research and evidence gathering platform with unique data and clinical insights in our National Health Service (NHS).


The UK is home to Nobel Prize winning science, 4 of the world’s top 10 universities for clinical and health sciences, and 2 of the top 3 for life sciences.


There are global life sciences clusters connecting investors with customers, collaborators, supply chains, and innovation partners. The UK has more medical products in development than any other country in Europe. This generates a turnover of £74bn and exports of £30bn.


The NHS is the largest integrated health system in the world. It is rated the top global health system by the Commonwealth Fund. The fact that the NHS reaches the whole of the UK population enables innovators to leverage cradle-to-grave data and clinical insights from more than 500 million patient ‘days’ of data each year.

World-leading subsectors

The UK life sciences ecosystem is a dynamic space for bold, high-risk scientific research and application in medicine. Join the clusters of companies at the forefront of break-through science in: AI, Data-Driven Technology and Digital Health; Advanced Therapies; Clinical Research; Discovery Science; Genomics; Medicines Manufacturing; and Medical and Health Technologies.


life science companies


people employed in life sciences


for life sciences research in the G7 by citation impact


R&D funding pledged over the next ten years


people employed in AI and digital health


people served by the NHS

Research and development

The UK is at the forefront of global scientific exploration, invention and innovation. The future of the already highly productive science base is secured by a commitment to increase R&D spending to 2.4% of GDP by 2027. UK researchers and institutions have pioneered major scientific breakthroughs – from the discovery of penicillin and the structure of DNA to advancements in neuroscience and medical imaging, and developments in stem cells and in vitro fertilisation.

Government commitment

The UK has a long-term industrial strategy providing billions of pounds of funding to deliver the next generation of life changing treatments and technologies. A Grand Challenge mission, (which brings government, industry and organisations together to tackle problems), will transform the prevention, diagnosis and treatment of chronic diseases by 2030.

The right environment

The UK offers leading-edge research and innovation platforms to test, bring to market and commercialise the next generation of discoveries. It is one of the world’s easiest places to do business, and offers one of the best tax environments for R&D.

Leading edge technology

The UK had one in four of the top 100 companies in the 2018 Global Digital Health 100. It has grown Europe’s leading cluster for cell and gene therapies and continues to build national infrastructure for advanced therapies. The NHS is the first national healthcare system to introduce genomics into mainstream medicine.

Novo Nordisk invests in University of Oxford to identify new therapies

A landmark alliance anchored at the Novo Nordisk Research Centre Oxford (NNRCO), this innovative research institute focuses on identifying new therapeutic opportunities. Novo Nordisk is investing more than £100 million and up to 100 Novo Nordisk scientists and researchers. With its proximity to academic centres of excellence within Oxford, London and Cambridge, the Centre takes full advantage of academic-industrial collaborations, human genetics and big data from sources such as the UK Biobank to conduct world-class discovery and translational research. NNRCO employs advanced bioinformatics, state-of-the-art discovery screening technologies and human-centric systems to dissect pathophysiology and identify novel drug targets.

Find out more

Why choose UK life sciences

Learn more about why companies choose UK life sciences.

Download the Choose UK Life Sciences brochure (PDF)

Next steps

Whether you’re looking for a supplier or starting a business in the UK, we can help. Get in touch with us for simple, straightforward help and advice on how to do business in the UK.