This week the BIA submitted inquiry suggestions to the Science and Technology Select Committee for their inquiry into Research and Development (R&D) funding for science and technology in the UK. Hana Janebdar, an Imperial College Biology student undertaking a Cogent placement at the BIA, outlines the submission. 

The BIA welcomed the opportunity to submit comments and emphasised the importance of government support for medical R&D in leveraging further private finance and encouraging collaborations that seek to translate research to development. Suggestions for inquiry topics proposed by the BIA were threefold: the Biomedical Catalyst, crowd funding and the UK public markets.

The Biomedical Catalyst (BMC)

The BIA suggested the Committee could assess whether a similar scheme to the BMC could be applied across other sectors. The BIA believes the BMC provides a blueprint for government support due to its impactful success in the biotech industry. Notable attributes of the BMC that were highlighted included its leveraging significant private capital, accelerating R&D and effectively joining together different public bodies. You can see the BIA’s report on the BMC here.

Crowdfunding

How the government could effectively harness the funding potential of crowdfunding, a growing sector, was another line of investigation suggested by the BIA. In particular, the BIA recommended looking into setting up a form of regulated crowdfunding based on the French Fonds Commun de Placement dans I’Innovation (FCPI) scheme, in the shape of the BIA’s proposed Citizen’s Innovation Funds. The submission underlined the success of the FCPI in raising over €6 billion as well as its potential contribution to the sense of venture philanthropy as seen in the United States.

The UK public markets

The BIA suggested the committee could also assess the state of UK public market accessibility for innovative sectors like that of bioscience. The BIA stressed the difficulty of growing a bioscience company and the need for better accessibility to the public markets to fund further R&D and growth.

The BIA hopes these comments are taken into account and looks forward to hearing further news from the Committee.