Europa Bio SME award

Last Tuesday, the BIA, BIVDA, ABPI, ABHI and AMRC hosted a successful senior-level roundtable discussion at Liberal Democrat party conference discussing the question “Life sciences and the NHS: friends or foes?“. The attendees were joined by Paul Burstow MP, a recent Liberal Democrat health Minister, and Jeremy Purvis, former Member of the Scottish Parliament and newly announced Peer. Attendees heard from three speakers each outlining a case study that spoke to the theme of the breakfast and highlighted the wide range of initiatives underway to tackle that very point and the breadth and depth of integration needed to improve patient outcomes.

Also at Lib Dem conference I was very pleased to hear that at another fringe event to discuss investment in life sciences Julian Huppert MP spoke again in favour of the BIA’s Citizens’ Innovation Funds proposal recognising it as a policy which could spur much needed additional investment into innovative companies.

Thanks to Fiona Marston from Absynth Biologics for providing real insight from a winners perspective at our second Biomedical Catalyst briefing in Nottingham. The meeting was a timely update for attendees thinking of applying before the 2 October for the current fourth round of Biomedical Catalyst funding.

I participated in the alternative funding panel at Bionow’s Biocap conference. I discussed the potential for Citizens’ Innovation Funds alongside contributions on Technology Strategy Board funding, the Business Growth Fund and the opportunities from both new private fund entrants to the field and specific regional funds. It was great to see the strength of companies from across the north presenting.

I am delighted that two BIA member companies, e-Therapeutics and PsiOxus, have been shortlisted for this year’s EuropaBio Most Innovative EU Biotech SME Award. The award will be presented during the first ever European Biotechnology Week, at an event in Brussels on 2 October. The shortlisted companies have received two year’s free membership of EuropaBio, and the over-all winner will receive €10,000. Having two out of the five shortlisted companies shows the strength of the UK biotech sector in Europe. It is great to see BIA member companies getting the recognition they deserve in this prestigious European competition.

And finally, the UK Bioscience Forum and Autumn Reception is just three weeks away, and I urge you to register as soon as possible. The programme is now complete and full details can be viewed on the website. We have a fantastic line-up of speakers, a full exhibition hall with a wide range of companies exhibiting, speed-partnering and a host of parallel tracks and keynote presentations, including London Mayor, Boris Johnson and Jim Greenwood, President and CEO, BIO. I look forward to seeing many of you there.