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Press release: Prime Minister announces £20m to grow medicines manufacturing in the UK

  • New £20m fund to manufacture medicines and diagnostic equipment in the UK
  • Fund will put the UK ahead in medicines manufacturing, creating economic opportunities and highly skilled jobs across the country
  • Supports the Government’s ambitions to build back better, ensuring greater resilience in UK medicines supply chains

The UK’s ability to respond to future pandemics will be strengthened thanks to a new £20 million fund to expand medicines manufacturing, Prime Minister Boris Johnson announced today (Monday 30 November).

The Prime Minister will launch the Government’s new capital investment fund, the Medicines and Diagnostic Manufacturing Transformation Fund, while visiting North Wales later today.

This will open-up investment opportunities for medicines manufacturers in England, Scotland and Wales – improving our domestic medicine supply chains and creating thousands of highly skilled jobs in the process.

This will put UK companies ahead of global competitors in advanced medicines manufacturing, while helping them respond to future healthcare needs – and increasing the overall health resilience of the UK.

Prime Minister Boris Johnson said:

This new £20m fund will significantly increase the capacity and resilience of our medicines and diagnostics manufacturing supply chains and equip us to fight future health crises.

Throughout the pandemic we have seen a coming together of British scientific industry and innovation and this new fund will enhance the UK’s manufacturing capabilities even further.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said:

The positive and timely response of our medicines manufacturers to the pandemic has been remarkable, but we want to ensure that the UK’s supply chains are even more resilient in the future.

There are huge opportunities for innovation in medicines and diagnostics, and this new fund will put the UK head and shoulders above others, boosting the UK’s capabilities and generating significant economic opportunities across the country.

The pandemic has shown the importance of having a strong domestic medicines and diagnostics manufacturing industry. This new fund has been established to grow and strengthen the UK’s capabilities, by encouraging companies to develop new technologies, build new factories and harness new advances, including bioprocessing, data and using greener manufacturing processes.

With two-thirds of life science manufacturing jobs already outside London and the South East, the fund will also open-up economic opportunities in different parts of the UK, creating thousands of new, highly skilled manufacturing jobs while safeguarding existing jobs.

This multi-year fund will have an initial pot of £20 million, which will be available from next year, as part of the government’s 2021/2022 Spending Review announced by the Chancellor on 25 November.

Eligible manufacturing companies can bid for the fund to help with their capital costs.

More information will be made available over the coming months, ahead of the fund launching mid-next year. The fund will be run through a competitive process overseen by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

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Press release: UK government secures additional 2 million doses of Moderna COVID-19 vaccine

  • UK government has now secured 7 million doses of Moderna vaccine, which will be available in Europe as early as spring 2021
  • trials show vaccine is almost 95% effective
  • deal means the UK now has access to a total of 357 million doses of vaccines from 7 different developers

The UK government has today (Sunday 29 November) signed a deal for a further 2 million doses of Moderna’s promising vaccine candidate, bringing the total to 7 million doses for the UK.

Following today’s deal, the UK now has access to enough doses of Moderna’s vaccine candidate for around 3.5 million people.

To be approved for use in the UK, the Moderna vaccine must meet the strict standards of safety and effectiveness of the independent medicines regulator, the Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA). If it is approved, 7 million doses could start to be delivered to the UK as early as spring 2021 – the same timetable as other countries in Europe.

The latest agreement is part of the government’s strategy to develop a diverse portfolio of promising vaccine candidates. The government has now secured 357 million vaccine doses from 7 different developers, giving the UK the best possible chance of protecting the public from coronavirus as soon as possible.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said:

It is essential that we continue to bolster our portfolio of vaccine candidates to ensure we’re in the best possible position to protect the public once we see that breakthrough.

The UK was one of the first countries in Europe to sign a deal with Moderna, and I’m delighted we have been able to secure a further 2 million doses of their promising candidate for the British public.

On 16 November, Moderna published initial data showing that its candidate is nearly 95% effective in protecting against COVID-19, with no safety issues identified to date. The safety data is still to be released by Moderna to show whether the vaccine is both safe and effective. Moderna is currently conducting phase 3 clinical trials of its vaccine and is using mRNA vaccine technology.

Until all the necessary stages are completed and a vaccine has been approved for use by the medicine regulator, the MHRA, the public must continue to take necessary actions to keep themselves and their loved ones safe, including following the Hands, Face, Space guidance and other public health advice in line with the area they live in.

Health and Social Care Secretary Matt Hancock said:

Every week, we are getting more positive news about the range of vaccines in development, and thanks to the work of our taskforce the UK has pre-ordered hundreds of millions of doses from those companies most advanced in their work.

This includes buying a further 2 million doses of Moderna’s vaccine, on top of the 5 million we’ve already secured.

With a wide range of vaccine candidates in our portfolio, we stand ready to deploy a vaccine should they receive approval from our medicines regulator, starting with those who will benefit most.

Chair of the government’s Vaccine Taskforce Kate Bingham said:

Since its inception in June, one of the most important stated aims of the Vaccines Taskforce has been to secure access to the most promising vaccines across a broad range of technologies – thereby increasing the chances of having a safe and effective prevention as soon as possible against COVID-19. Moderna’s vaccine was an important addition to our portfolio and securing an additional 2 million doses further adds to the protection we can provide to the public to end the pandemic.

Today’s deal follows the independent regulator’s confirmation this week that it has received the necessary data of the Pfizer/BioNTech vaccine to progress their review into whether the vaccine meets the required standards. Encouraging results from the phase III trials of the Oxford University/AstraZeneca were also published this week.

Notes to editors

We have secured early access to over 357 million vaccines doses through agreements with several separate vaccine developers at various stages of trials, including:

  • 100 million doses of University of Oxford/AstraZeneca vaccine – phase 3 clinical trials
  • 40 million doses of BioNTech/Pfizer vaccine – phase 3 clinical trials
  • 7 million doses of Moderna vaccine – phase 3 clinical trials
  • 60 million doses of Novavax vaccine – phase 3 clinical trials
  • 60 million doses of Valneva vaccine – pre-clinical trials
  • 60 million doses of GSK/Sanofi Pasteur vaccine – phase 1 clinical trials
  • 30 million doses of Janssen vaccine – phase 2 clinical trials

We have invested over £230 million into manufacturing any successful vaccine and an enormous amount of planning and preparation has taken place across government to be able to quickly roll out the vaccine, including ensuring we have adequate provision, transport, PPE and logistical expertise to do so. We are also working at pace to prepare for the delivery of any potential COVID-19 vaccination programme as quickly as possible.

The Medicines and Healthcare products Regulatory Agency (MHRA) will carefully and scientifically review the safety, quality and effectiveness data once it has all been submitted to determine how it protects people from COVID-19 and the level of protection it provides.

The data must include results from the lab and clinical trials; manufacturing and quality controls, product sampling, and testing of the final product.

Once they have thoroughly reviewed the data, the MHRA will seek advice from the government’s independent advisory body, the Commission on Human Medicines. They will critically assess the data too before advising the government on the safety, quality and effectiveness of any potential vaccine.

The MHRA is globally recognised for requiring the highest standards of safety, quality and effectiveness for any vaccine.

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Consultation outcome: Capacity market new technologies 2020

Whilst there are no new technologies ready to enter the CM in the near-term, there were 3 technologies identified which may require access to the CM in the future: tidal, geothermal and electric vehicles.

We have informed the Electricity System Operator about these 3 technologies, so that de-rating factors can be developed in due course. Going forward, we will use this annual open letter process to monitor the progress of these technologies and ensure that there are no barriers to their participation in the CM.

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National Statistics: Energy Trends: UK gas

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    News story: Oliver Dowden’s opinion piece for The Telegraph on the Digital Markets Unit

    [unable to retrieve full-text content]The Digital Secretary discusses the government’s new pro-competition regime for tech giants like Facebook and Google.
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    Press release: £20 million boost for world class AI research could transform cancer treatment and save lives

    • New Turing AI Fellowships are part of the government’s ambition to maintain the UK’s position as a world leader in AI and support ground-breaking innovations
    • artificial intelligence (AI) that identifies cancer early is among 15 innovative and diverse projects backed by £20 million UK government cash injection
    • other projects include assisting those who have experienced a serious illness or injury to communicate and processing data at lightning speed while lowering energy consumption

    Discovering if people have cancer before it fully forms in the body so that they can be treated earlier is among the pioneering artificial intelligence (AI) research given a £20 million government cash boost today (Friday 27 November).

    The prestigious Turing AI Acceleration Fellowships will give 15 of the UK’s top AI innovators the resources to drive forward their ground-breaking research from speeding up medical diagnosis to increasing workplace productivity. These pioneering projects could enable the UK to meet some of today’s most pressing challenges, such as reducing carbon emissions, while helping to transform industries across the UK economy, including healthcare, energy and transport.

    Among the AI fellows being backed today is Professor Christopher Yau at The University of Manchester, who aims to use AI technology to predict the development of cancer before it has fully formed in the body and therefore improving on current methods. If successful, this ground-breaking technology will enable clinicians to track cancer more accurately and help them decide at an earlier stage what treatments patients require. This would increase the chances of saving lives as treatment is usually more successful when given earlier.

    A range of other ground-breaking AI projects are set to benefit from this new support, including research into energy efficient data processing – which would support key sectors such as energy, healthcare and finance at a time when demand for data is growing exponentially. Additionally, the development of an “AI clinical colleague” could further support doctors by recommending the most effective drug prescriptions and doses for patients – and helping them decide the best course of action for recovery.

    Science Minister, Amanda Solloway said:

    The UK is the birthplace of artificial intelligence and we have a duty to equip the next generation of Alan Turings with the tools that will keep the UK at the forefront of this remarkable technological innovation.

    The inspirational fellows we are backing today will use AI to tackle some of our greatest challenges head on, transforming how people live, work and communicate, cementing the UK’s status as a world leader in AI and data.

    Digital Minister, Caroline Dinenage, said:

    The UK is a nation of innovators and this government investment will help our talented academics use cutting-edge technology to improve people’s daily lives – from delivering better disease diagnosis to managing our energy needs.

    The fellowships forms part of a major government investment in AI skills and research, including 16 Centres for Doctoral Training in AI and conversion courses to train the next generation of AI experts, announced by the Prime Minister Boris Johnson in October 2019.

    Named after British AI pioneer Alan Turing, the £20 million fellowship scheme will be delivered by Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), in partnership with the Alan Turing Institute and Office for Artificial intelligence.

    It follows the publication of the government’s ambitious research and development roadmap in June this year, which committed to investing in ground breaking research and supporting the UK’s risk takers to scale up their innovations.

    EPSRC Executive Chair Professor Dame Lynn Gladden said:

    The Turing AI Acceleration Fellowships will support some of our leading researchers to progress their careers and develop ground-breaking AI technologies with societal impact.

    By enhancing collaboration between academia and industry and accelerating these transformative technologies they will help to maintain and build on the UK’s position as a world leader in AI.

    Notes to editors

    Some of the Turing AI Acceleration Fellows receiving investment today are listed below.

    Dr Antonio Hurtado, University of Strathclyde

    Dr Hurtado aims to meet the growing demand across the UK economy to process large volumes of data fast and efficiently, while minimising the energy required to do so. His AI technology will use laser light, similar to those used in supermarket checkouts, to perform complex tasks at ultrafast speed – from weather forecasting to processing images for medical diagnostics. Being able to perform these tasks at lightning speed, with minimal energy consumption, could help to transform industries such as energy, healthcare and finance, improving efficiency, while helping the UK to meet its net zero ambitions by 2050.

    Professor Aldo Faisal, Imperial College London

    Professor Faisal aims to relieve the pressures and workload on doctors and clinicians by developing an ‘AI clinical colleague’, which will be able to recommend medical interventions such as prescribing drugs or changing doses in a way that is understandable to decision makers, such as doctors, helping to them to make the best final decision on a course of action for a patient. This technology will use ‘reinforcement learning’, a form of machine learning that trains AI to make decisions, and could be used in other regulated sectors such as aerospace or energy, where there is a need for decision-making support.

    Professor Damien Coyle, Ulster University

    Professor Coyle aims to develop AI technology that will be play a crucial role in new forms of wearable neurotechnologies – devices which measure signals from the brain and enable their wearer to interact with technology without movement. By enabling communication between the brain and computers that do not rely on movement, this technology could help those who are unable to communicate following a serious injury or illness.

    Dr Jeff Dalton, University of Glasgow

    Dr Dalton aims to improve the capabilities and performance of virtual personal assistants. Currently, virtual assistants on the market are only capable of limited conversations, and their development is expensive. Dr Dalton will build advanced information assistants that can work with users more effectively, including asking questions back and forth, explaining their reasoning more clearly, and helping to solve complex information tasks, for example explaining the causes of climate change.

    Additional quotes

    Dr Jeff Dalton, University of Glasgow said:

    Being awarded the Turing AI Acceleration fellowship is an incredible honour and we are very excited by the opportunity to accelerate progress on the next generation of virtual assistants that will transform our economy and society.

    This award is key in building a world-leading research group in Scotland with state-of-the-art deep-learning hardware for conversational AI that will enable us to perform large-scale experiments on real-world datasets to maximize impact.

    Professor Christopher Yau, University of Manchester said:

    I am very excited to have been awarded this Fellowship which will enable me to conduct ground-breaking research at the intersection of genomics and artificial intelligence. Genomics will yield unprecedented amounts of data which necessitate the use of AI for their interpretation.

    I will be developing novel clinical information systems to provide cancer patients and clinicians with the very best genomics-guided personalised care to improve treatment effectiveness and survival rates. I am especially pleased to be working with a range of project partners, including Ovarian Cancer Action, to ensure that my research is conducted in partnership with patients.

    The new Fellows will join a cohort of five Turing AI Fellows that have previously been awarded and the Turing AI World-Leading Researcher Fellowships due to be awarded in 2021. These fellowships are part of a major government investment in AI skills and research which also includes 16 UKRI Centres for Doctoral Training in AI announced by Prime Minister Boris Johnson.

    The Turing AI Acceleration Fellowships are part of the government’s AI sector deal investment in Turing AI fellowships, recommended by the independent 2017 UK AI Review, whose report ‘Growing the artificial intelligence industry in the UK,’ was co-authored by Reguis Professor of Computer Science at Southampton, Dame Wendy Hall, and Jérôme Pesenti, now Vice President of AI at Facebook.

    Applications were sought from a diverse pool of researchers to reflect the breadth of the AI ecosystem and a broad range of backgrounds and fields. Universities were required to use an inclusive approach in shortlisting their fellowship candidates and fellows will be required to do likewise in recruiting their research teams.

    The Turing AI Acceleration Fellows are:

    • Professor Damien Coyle, University of Ulster – AI for Intelligent Neurotechnology and Human-Machine Symbiosis
    • Dr Jeff Dalton, University of Glasgow – Neural Conversational Information Seeking Assistant
    • Dr Theo Damoulas, University of Warwick – Machine Learning Foundations of Digital Twins
    • Professor Aldo Faisal, Imperial College – Reinforcement Learning for Healthcare
    • Professor Yulan He, University of Warwick – Event-Centric Framework for Natural Language Understanding
    • Dr Jose Miguel Hernandez Lobato, University of Cambridge – Machine Learning for Molecular Design
    • Dr Antonio Hurtado, University of Strathclyde – PHOTONics for Ultrafast Artificial Intelligence
    • Dr Per Lehre, University of Birmingham – Rigorous Time-Complexity Analysis of Co-evolutionary Algorithms
    • Professor Giovanni Montana, University of Warwick – Advancing Multi-Agent Deep Reinforcement Learning for Sequential Decision Making in Real-World Applications
    • Dr Christopher Nemeth, Lancaster University: Probabilistic Algorithms for Scalable and Computable Approaches to Learning (PASCAL)
    • Dr Raul Santos-Rodriguez, University of Bristol – Interactive Annotations in AI
    • Dr Sebastian Stein, University of Southampton – Citizen-Centric AI Systems
    • Dr Ivan Tyukin, University of Leicester – Adaptive, Robust and Resilient AI Systems for the FuturE
    • Dr Adrian Weller, University of Cambridge – Trustworthy Machine Learning
    • Professor Christopher Yau, The University of Manchester – clinAIcan – Developing Clinical Applications of Artificial Intelligence for Cancer
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    Policy paper: Government response to the CMA digital advertising market study

    On 1 July 2020 the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA) published the final report of its market study into online platforms and digital advertising

    In this response the government responds to the recommendations of the CMA and announces that it will set up a Digital Markets Unit to oversee a pro-competition regime for digital platforms, including those funded by digital advertising. The response commits the government to:

    • consider the Digital Markets Taskforce’s advice on the design and implementation of a new pro-competition regime for digital markets, which is due by the end of 2020
    • establish and resource a new Digital Markets Unit (DMU) from April 2021, housed in the CMA, to build on the work of the Taskforce and begin to operationalise the key elements of the regime
    • consult on proposals for the new pro-competition regime in early 2021
    • legislate to put the DMU on a statutory footing when parliamentary time allows.
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    Press release: New competition regime for tech giants to give consumers more choice and control over their data, and ensure businesses are fairly treated

    • Government to set up Digital Markets Unit to oversee a pro-competition regime for platforms including those funded by digital advertising, such as Google and Facebook
    • new statutory code of conduct will mean consumers will be given more choice and control over how their data is used, and small businesses will be able to better promote their products online
    • code will support the sustainability of the news publishing industry, helping to rebalance the relationship between publishers and online platforms

    Tech giants will be subject to a new regime to give consumers more choice and control over their data, help small businesses thrive, and ensure news outlets are not forced out by their bigger rivals.

    A dedicated Digital Markets Unit, which will be set up within the Competition and Markets Authority (CMA), will work closely with regulators including Ofcom and the Information Commissioner’s Office to introduce and enforce a new code to govern the behaviour of platforms that currently dominate the market, such as Google and Facebook, to ensure consumers and small businesses aren’t disadvantaged.

    Online platforms bring huge benefits for businesses and society. Their services are making work easier and quicker and help people stay in touch with one another. Millions of people share creative content or advertise their small business’ goods online.

    But there is growing consensus in the UK and abroad that the concentration of power amongst a small number of tech companies is curtailing growth in the tech sector, reducing innovation, and potentially having negative impacts on the people and businesses that rely on them.

    The new code will set clear expectations for platforms that have considerable market power – known as strategic market status – over what represents acceptable behaviour when interacting with competitors and users.

    Under the new code, platforms including those funded by digital advertising could be required to be more transparent about the services they provide and how they are using consumers’ data, give consumers a choice over whether to receive personalised advertising, and prevented from placing restrictions on their customers that make it hard for them to use rival platforms.

    The new unit, which will begin work in April, could be given powers to suspend, block and reverse decisions of tech giants, order them to take certain actions to achieve compliance with the code, and impose financial penalties for non-compliance.

    Business Secretary Alok Sharma said:

    Digital platforms like Google and Facebook make a significant contribution to our economy and play a massive role in our day-to-day lives – whether it’s helping us stay in touch with our loved ones, share creative content or access the latest news.

    But the dominance of just a few big tech companies is leading to less innovation, higher advertising prices and less choice and control for consumers.

    Our new, pro-competition regime for digital markets will ensure consumers have choice, and mean smaller firms aren’t pushed out.

    Digital Secretary Oliver Dowden said:

    I’m unashamedly pro-tech and the services of digital platforms are positively transforming the economy – bringing huge benefits to businesses, consumers and society.

    But there is growing consensus in the UK and abroad that the concentration of power among a small number of tech companies is curtailing growth of the sector, reducing innovation and having negative impacts on the people and businesses that rely on them. It’s time to address that and unleash a new age of tech growth.

    Today’s proposals could also help give small businesses fair access to platform services including digital advertising, allowing them to grow their business’ online presence. The code could be used to ensure platforms are not applying unfair terms, conditions or policies to certain business customers, including news publishers.

    Currently, dominant online platforms can impose terms on news publishers that limit their ability to monetise their content – severely impacting their ability to thrive.

    The new code will govern commercial arrangements between publishers and platforms to help keep publishers in business – helping enhance the sustainability of high-quality online journalism and news publishing in the UK.

    It will form a major part of the government’s work to support the sustainability of the UK’s world leading news publishing sector and make sure, as news moves ever more online, publishers get a fair deal from the platforms on which they rely.

    The government has set out its plans to take forward the development of the new unit and code of conduct in its response to the market study it asked the CMA to produce on online platforms and digital marketing.

    The Unit will be informed by the work of the Digital Markets Taskforce, which was set up earlier this year to provide advice to the government on the potential design and implementation of pro-competitive measures – including the methodology which will determine what companies should be designated as having strategic market status, and how a regime would work in practice.

    The digital sector contributed nearly £150 billion to the UK economy in 2018 – driving opportunity, productivity and creativity in every corner of the UK.

    Through its study, the CMA found that, among other things, a lack of competition in digital markets prevents the development of new, valuable services for consumers, and results in higher prices for businesses using the platforms – which are then passed on to consumers.

    The CMA’s market study was commissioned by the government as part of a series of steps to promote competition in this area. In 2018, the government commissioned the Digital Competition Expert Panel, chaired by Professor Jason Furman, which proposed a new pro-competition regime for digital platform markets in its final report, the Furman Review. The Government accepted the Furman Review’s six strategic recommendations, including the establishment of a new Digital Markets Unit (DMU), earlier this year.

    The government will consult on the form and function of the Digital Markets Unit in early 2021 and legislate as soon as parliamentary time allows.

    Notes to editors

    • building on the work of the Furman Review, the government established the Digital Markets Taskforce in March. The Taskforce is due to report later this year
    • the Digital Markets Unit will build on the work of the Taskforce and begin to operationalise the key elements of the regime
    • measures to promote competition in digital markets will form part of wider work to reform the UK’s approach to competition policy, which will be consulted on in 2021
    • the proposed approach to the regulation of digital markets complements the objectives of wider digital policy and regulatory interventions, including the National Data Strategy and the Online Harms Bill
    • the CMA market study says Google has significant market power in the general search market and in search advertising, and Facebook has significant market power in the social media market and in display advertising
    • around £14 billion was spent on digital advertising in the UK in 2019, around 80% of which was spent on Google and Facebook, and the CMA notes the number of adverts that consumers are exposed to on digital platforms is increasing, with adverts seen per hour on Facebook rising from 40-50 in 2016 to 50-60 in 2019. Its average revenue per user is now more than ten times higher than competitors
    • In 2016, Google increased the maximum number of adverts displayed following a search query and moved these to the centre of the page above organic results. In the UK its prices for advertising on desktop and mobile are also 30 to 40 per cent higher than Bing’s, its main competitor

    The CMA also provides evidence that a lack of competition in these markets leads to harms to consumers and businesses through:

    1. Reduced innovation. The report argues that a lack of competitive pressure on Google and Facebook results in reduced innovation and inhibits the development of new, valuable services for consumers.
    2. Higher prices for goods and services. The report provides evidence that businesses are facing higher prices on the dominant platforms (which are passed through to consumers). CMA analysis shows that in the UK both Google and Facebook are consistently earning profits well above what is required to reward investors with a fair return. Google earned £1.7 billion more profit in 2018 than the benchmark level of profits. For Facebook, the comparable figure for 2018 was £650 million.
    3. Reduced quality. The number of adverts that consumers are exposed to on digital platforms is increasing. Adverts seen per hour on Facebook rose from 40-50 in 2016 to 50-60 in 2019. In 2016, Google increased the maximum number of adverts displayed following a search query and moved these to the centre of the page above organic results.
    4. Lack of consumer control. The report argues that consumers would have more control over the collection and use of their data if there was more competition in digital advertising markets. The CMA highlights that search and social media markets are characterised by “take it or leave it” terms that mean consumers have to share their data with platforms to use services. In a competitive market, one would expect services to compete to offer better terms to consumers who prefer not to share their data.
    5. Broader social harm. The CMA also set out evidence of broader harms due to weak competition, such as the negative impact on the quality of journalism, in line with the findings of the Cairncross Review.
    Categories
    OFGEM

    Decision on Last Resort Supply Payment Claim from EDF Energy Customers Limited

    EDF have given notice to us of their intention to submit a claim for a Last Resort Supply Payment. EDF is seeking to claim certain additional costs incurred in acting as Supplier of Last Resort (SoLR) to customers of the former Solarplicity Supply Limited. A SoLR may make a claim for a Last Resort Supply Payment from relevant distribution networks where we have given our consent to the amount claimed.

    Following on from our consultation, this letter explains our decision to consent to EDF claiming a Last Resort Supply Payment of up to £4.2m.

    Categories
    OFGEM

    Decision on the Supplier Licensing Review: Ongoing requirements and exit arrangements

    We are reviewing our approach to supplier licensing to strengthen our regulatory regime to improve standards of financial resilience and provide better consumer protection.  These reforms are part of our move to improve customer service standards and minimise the likelihood and impact of disorderly supplier failure.

    The measures we are introducing are designed to (i) promote more responsible risk management, (ii) improve governance and increase accountability, and (iii) enhance our market oversight. These changes build upon our enhanced entry requirements introduced in July 2019.

    Our decision follows extensive stakeholder engagement over the last year and we have carefully considered the responses to our June 2020 statutory consultation.

    The new requirements will take effect on and from 22 January 2021, with the exception of the Customer Supply Continuity Plans requirement, which will take effect on and from 18 March 2021.

    We are also providing an update on the timings and process we expect to follow as we undertake the next phase of work to consider whether further, more prescriptive, cost mutualisation protections are required.

    We are seeking views on the proposed content of the Financial Responsibility Principle guidance (Appendix 3 of the decision document) by 22 January 2021. Please send your response to licensing@ofgem.gov.uk.