The BIA has submitted a response to government ahead of the Spending Review which the Chancellor is due to deliver on 26 June 2013. This will cover the 2015/16 period and along with the BIA a number of other organisations within the sector are submitting views also collectively raising the importance of government support for UK medical research. As with the previous spending review in 2010 we hope that by having a coherent and unified voice a positive settlement for the sector can be achieved.

Of particular importance for the BIA’s members and life science businesses is the Biomedical Catalyst (BMC) scheme. The BIA have urged the government to take the opportunity provided by the Spending Review to refill the funding allocation for the BMC in a consistent year-on-year funding settlement to support the translation of innovative medical research in the UK.

BMC-infogThis submission comes alongside the publication of a new BIA infographic which draws together some new data on the first two rounds of funding through the BMC. This shows the positive impact the BMC is already making. Perhaps the key figure to highlight is that already over £50 million of private capital has been leveraged into the UK to support those projects which have been funded supporting businesses, jobs and growth,.

The infographic also gives information about the type of therapeutic areas being supported by the BMC, the regional breakdown, what stages the majority of funding is going towards etc. It shows again that the BMC is making a positive impact on bioscience, accelerating medical research and leveraging private capital.

The BMC forms the core ask of government in the BIA’s spending review submission. Government support across the development pipeline, whether through funding of the excellent research base, grant funding, or through the tax system, is of fundamental importance to the competitiveness of the UK as a location for the translation of medical research and development. In a recent survey BIA members rated the Technology Strategy Board as the government organisation with the most direct relevance and of most importance to their business. The Medical Research Council and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council were also highly regarded.

The need to maximise economic impact and leverage private capital has been cited as key measurements of government’s support of research and the BMC in particular offers a blueprint of a successful policy intervention that is cost effective in delivering upon those aims. It is important that the scheme receives further funding so that it can continue to support UK innovation beyond the third round.