The UK government has signed a long-term investment agreement with Abu Dhabi’s sovereign wealth fund Mubadala to invest £1bn in UK life sciences businesses to boost post-pandemic recovery. 

Mubadala, which is one of the world’s largest sovereign wealth funds with asset under management of around $232bn, committed to investing £800m over five years, which will be deployed alongside the UK’s £200m Life Sciences Investment Programme announced in 2020, the UK Office for Investment (OfI) said in a note on March 24. 

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The deal is part of a sovereign investment partnership (SIP) between the UK and the UAE. The SIP is the first of its kind for the UK and is aimed at enhancing the next generation of UK life science companies. The deal strengthens UK-UAE trade and investment ties, and fosters a future-focused relationship between the two countries within innovation-led sectors such as energy transition and infrastructure, the note by the OfI highlights. 

The SIP will work as a mechanism to identify suitable investment opportunities in the life sciences sector, an industry which turns over £80bn per year in the UK and employs more than 250,000 people.

UK international trade secretary Liz Truss called the deal “a major win” that “shows how the UK is an investment destination of choice”, according to the OFI note. 

fDi Markets tracked roughly 17,000 jobs created by UAE greenfield project announcements in the UK between 2003 and 2020. The inward stock of FDI in the UK from the UAE was £5.5bn at the end of 2019, government figures show. 

Khaldoon Khalifa Al Mubarak, managing director and group CEO of Mubadala, said in the note: “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 OfI and Mubadala will work together to identify commercially viable opportunities for investment in the sector.

“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,” says UK minister for investment Gerry Grimstone. 

Mubadala has a global portfolio of research initiatives in more than 50 countries to which the UK industries now have access by way of this partnership, the note highlights.