COVID-19 pandemic leads to sector 'bounce' according to leading recruiter
The COVID-19 pandemic has led to a ‘bounce’ in the diagnostics manufacturing sector said a diagnostics-dedicated recruitment CEO. Ivor Campbell, chief executive of Snedden Campbell, a recruitment company working in the diagnostics sector, has observed a rise in the number of vacancies within the sector as companies expand and consolidate their operations. “In recent years, the UK diagnostic sector’s advantage has been the ability to fund new entrants into the point-of-care and rapid test markets, and now the best of these are growing steadily in an encouraging COVID-accelerated investment environment”, Campbell commented.
Major investment has been attracted to the UK diagnostics sector during the pandemic as companies repurpose areas of their businesses to serving COVID-19 needs. The main driver of growth is increased confidence within established and earlier stage businesses partly based on private and public investment, according to Campbell. The UK Med Tech sector is now the third largest in Europe, employing 115,000 researchers, scientists, engineers, designers, and clinicians. The industry has a turnover worth £21 billion and comprises around 3,700 companies of varying sizes and outputs.
In vitro diagnostics represents 7% of the sector, but is exhibiting high growth, especially in areas such as digital health which accounts for 28% of revenue. This is followed by drug delivery (23%) and single use technology, such as syringes, lancets, and infusion lines (19%). Campbell states that the UK’s ability in recent years to foster growth in the point-of-care and rapid test markets has led to a boost in prospects for the country’s market, especially in an innovation-friendly COVID-19 environment. “The NHS is the largest customer for medical technologies in the UK, serving more than 60 million patients but it’s a finite and conservative customer”, Campbell added.
In terms of Brexit, the UK Med Tech sector has always been capable of driving exports and Brexit is encouraging companies to double down on their efforts to look further afield. The US market remains a large opportunity for UK diagnostic companies, and prospects abound in the Asia-Pacific region looking towards the future.