A Key Challenge identified during the Covid-19 Pandemic has been the need to respond quickly to new manufacturing demands. This is highlighted by the UK‚’s lack of capacity in the manufacturing of low-cost / high-risk / high-value items. An example would be the current (2 January 2020) reported under-supply of vials at scale for the roll-out of Covid-19 vaccines. These vials‚’
would cost around 10p to manufacture (=low cost)
are critical to the supply of vaccines (=high risk)
have a sale price of between ¬£3 and ¬£15, containing the vaccine that protects individuals, saves lives and reduces pressure on the NHS (=high value)
There is a concurrent Opportunity to set up manufacturing capacity in regions of the United Kingdom where employment is low, providing regeneration in communities where, for example, manufacturing, mining or shipbuilding were previously key industries.
Constraints on setting up manufacturing in those regions that would most benefit from new development include‚’
a lack of transport infrastructure for inward supply chains and outward access to market of completed goods and
the long lead times required to provide additional transport infrastructure in support of manufacture (goods in and goods out)
‚’the very challenges that have precluded such development in these areas in the past, leading to a cycle of degeneration in some regions of the UK.
The key challenge or opportunity is, thus, to identify and develop manufacture of key products (eg ‚’vials‚’) whilst stimulating growth in areas of low employment through an integrated infrastructure that would‚’
encourage rapid development of key manufacturing at appropriate scale
develop such manufacturing in areas of low employment
ensure efficient access to supply chains for inward materials, etc and
ensure efficient access to market (or further up the supply chain) for outward finished goods