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UAE and UK launch sovereign investment partnership with initial £1 billion in life sciences

Christian Fernsby |
The Department for International Trade and the Prime Minister’s Office’s recently-established UK Office for Investment (OfI) and Abu Dhabi’s Mubadala Investment Company, one of the world’s leading sovereign investors, today signed a long-term investment agreement.

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This is the first agreement of its kind for the UK and the Office for Investment and will deepen existing UK-UAE trade and investment ties that were worth £32 billion in 2019.

The UAE-UK Sovereign Investment Partnership (SIP) will serve as a coordinated investment framework to grow a future-focused relationship between the two nations, driving economic recovery, jobs and growth.

An initial £800m commitment from Mubadala to invest in UK life sciences over five years is the first focus for the SIP. The sum will be deployed alongside the UK’s £200m Life Sciences Investment Programme announced last year, a vital pool of patient capital for the sector that will enable more UK life sciences businesses to scale and grow. The OfI and Mubadala will work together to identify commercially viable opportunities for investment into the sector.

Combined, these funds will provide much needed stable investment into the next generation of life science companies around the country. The industry, which generates £80 billion turnover a year within the UK and employs more than 250,000 people, is expected to benefit from stronger links in life sciences research, education and closer ties between the UAE and UK.

Over a five-year period, the SIP will invest across several tech and innovation-led sectors such as energy transition and infrastructure that will support job creation in both nations, strengthen national research and development capabilities and develop new areas of investment collaboration.

UK International Trade Secretary Liz Truss said: "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.

"This is a major win for the Office for Investment 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."

Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, Managing Director and Group CEO of Mubadala commented: "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.

"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.

Gerry Grimstone, UK Minister for Investment said: "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."

Mubadala will also connect UK industries to research and innovation initiatives across its global portfolio spanning more than 50 countries, which has a major focus on innovation and technology-led sectors, including composite manufacturing, semiconductors, renewable energy, biotech and urban mobility. The UAE-UK partnership will build on the investment model Mubadala has established in other geographies.

The SIP’s inaugural life sciences investments are expected to complete later this year.


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