SII to invest £240 million in UK to expand vaccine business

Nearly 20 Indian companies across sectors such as healthcare, biotech and software services will announce significant investment plans in the UK this week.

COVID-19 vaccine representational Image

London: The Serum Institute of India will invest £240 million in the UK to expand its vaccine business and set up a new sales office creating a large number of jobs, Downing Street announced on Tuesday. It forms a part of a 1-billion pound India-UK Enhanced Trade Partnership which aims to create around 6,500 jobs in Britain.

The SII sales office is expected to generate new business worth over $1 billion, £200 million of which will be invested into the UK. Serum’s investment will support clinical trials, research & development and possibly manufacturing of vaccines. This will help the UK and the world to defeat the coronavirus pandemic and other deadly diseases. Serum have already started phase one trials in the UK of a one-dose nasal vaccine for coronavirus, in partnership with Codagenix INC.

SII and 18 other Indian companies have plans to invest and or create jobs in UK as a part of the trade and investment plan between the two countries. As per UK Prime Minister Office, the package contains over £533 million of new Indian investment into the UK, which is expected to create more than 6,000 jobs in vital and growing sectors such as health and technology. As much as £200 million of these deals will support low carbon growth.

Nearly 20 Indian companies across sectors such as healthcare, biotech and software services to announce significant investment plans in the UK this week. These include big names like Infosys, HCL Technologies, Mastek, Sterlite, Global Gene Corp and others. The announcement came ahead of a virtual summit between Prime Ministers Boris Johnson and Narendra Modi on Tuesday.

The list of companies:

  • Infosys – creating 1000 UK jobs
  • HCL Technologies – creating 1000 UK jobs
  • MPhasis – £35m, creating 1000 UK jobs
  • Q-Rich Creations – £54m, creating 667 UK jobs
  • Wipro – £16m, creating 500 UK jobs
  • I2 Agro – £30m, creating 465 UK jobs
  • Mastek – creating 357 UK jobs
  • Sterlite Technologies – £15m, creating 150 UK jobs
  • Global Gene Corp – £59m, creating 110 UK jobs
  • SNVA Ventures – £10m, creating 200 UK jobs
  • Serum Institute – £240m
  • Skillmine – £11m, creating 100 UK jobs
  • CtrlS Data Centers – £10m, creating 100 UK jobs
  • Que Processing Services – £10m, creating 100 UK jobs
  • Cron Systems – £20m, creating 100 UK jobs
  • TVS Motors-Norton – creating 89 UK jobs
  • Prime Focus Technologies – creating 70 UK jobs
  • Route Mobile – £20m, creating 50 UK jobs
  • Goila Butter Chicken – £3m, creating 40 UK jobs

Adar Poonawalla, who recently travelled to London hinted at plans to expand vaccine production outside India, and had described his meetings in the UK as “excellent”.

“We shall work even harder and strengthen India’s fight against COVID-19,” he said on Twitter.

In the healthcare segment following SII, another Indian investment includes £59 million by biotech firm Global Gene Corp over the next five years. It will create 110 highly skilled jobs in the UK, mostly based in the R&D centre at Wellcome Genome Campus in Cambridge, which is the site of the Human Genome Project.

Other notable Indian investments include Q-Rich Creations at 54 million pounds, creating 667 UK jobs; Wipro at £16 million pounds, creating 500 jobs; I2 Agro at £30 million, creating 465 jobs; Mastek creating 357 jobs; and Sterlite Technologies at £15 million, creating 150 jobs.

File photo of UK PM Boris Johnson with Indian PM Modi at G7 summit held in France in 2019 (Source: ANI)
File photo of UK PM Boris Johnson with Indian PM Modi at G7 summit held in France in 2019 (Source: ANI)

An Enhanced Trade Partnership between India and the UK, is scheduled to be signed off during the prime ministerial summit, also covers around 20 export deals clinched by British companies.

“Like every aspect of the UK-India relationship, the economic links between our countries make our people stronger and safer. Each and every one of the more than 6,500 jobs we have announced today will help families and communities build back from coronavirus and boost the British and Indian economies,” said UK Prime Minister Boris Johnson on Tuesday.

These include Morningside Pharmaceuticals researching, developing and licencing new pharma products; Polymateria’s biotransformation technology, which enables plastics to become fully bio-degradable, in a deal worth £75 million in UK exports over the next five years; CMR surgical in a deal worth £200 million creating 100 new UK jobs; Kloudpad with critical hardware and software bespoke data centres, deal worth £15 million ; and Vidrona drone surveying equipment and AI technology.

Among the others are KIGG systems – smart meter test benches for electricity distribution companies; CyanConnode – deal worth £18 million; GoZero Mobility – deal worth £3.2 million for e-bicycles; Agvesto – deal worth £3 million ; Revolut expansion into India; CDE Asia – deal worth £500,000; and Bio Products Laboratory – biopharmaceutical finished products for rare bleeding disorders, deal worth £62 million.

The export pacts also cover Kwalee British video game producer expansion in India; Astropol – colour and additive solutions for the vinyl, non-vinyl and associated additive industries, deal worth £12 million ; Surgease – deal worth £14.9 million and Oxvent – deal worth £20 million among others.

(With inputs from PTI)