The announcement in yesterday’s Budget (22 April) of the availability of a £750 million strategic investment fund for emerging technologies and regionally important sectors has been given a cautious welcome by Carter Jonas' Cambridge-based Technology Team.
While the fund is considerably less than some in the industry had looked for – interest groups and experts in the field had been lobbying for a £1 billion high-tech start up fund in the run-up to the Budget – Carter Jonas’ technology property specialists say it is still welcome evidence of the importance placed by the Government on the industry.
That the Chancellor’s announcement of the funding emphasised ‘regionally important sectors’ is being noted too by Carter Jonas’ partners, who are hoping that Cambridge’s contribution to the country’s economy and its standing on the international business stage continues to receive special recognition in the allocation of the fund.
Carol Pawsey, a Partner who leads the firm’s work in the technology sector, adds:
"It is cheering to see that the Government is still able to acknowledge the importance of this sector, given economic and political pressures it is under from other industries.
"The fact that John Aston of Astex Therapeutics - formerly of Cambridge Antibody Technology and very much a champion of this area’s technology and business expertise – chairs the Government’s Office for Life Sciences working group on investment and finance, gives cause for optimism that the Cambridge case for a significant slice of this and any other investment funding will be heard and supported."