Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, at the BIA UK Bioscience Forum

Boris Johnson, Mayor of London, at the BIA UK Bioscience Forum

Our UK Bioscience Forum last Thursday was a tremendous success. With more than 350 delegates for the forum joined by another 50 for our Autumn reception, the event is our second biggest of the year.

Our keynote speakers, Mayor of London, Boris Johnson, and BIO’s President and CEO, Jim Greenwood, were both excellent. Boris highlighted London’s history as a centre for science and discussed his belief that innovative industries such as ours are the key to future economic growth. Jim outlined the relationship between BIO and the BIA and spoke about the international nature of our sector. Jim said that the ongoing Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) negotiations present huge opportunities for the sector, in particular he highlighted the desire for mutual recognition of GMP between the US and EU. If you wish to get a flavour of the day, search for the hashtag #biaukbf on Twitter to review the tweets sent during the day.

The BIA launched two reports at the forum. The first is an update of our report on the Biomedical Catalyst which shows that UK biotech is flourishing thanks in significant part to the Biomedical Catalyst. The report highlights that over 100 business-led projects in the UK are now accelerating the translation of innovative scientific and medical research into therapies that can be used by patients and sold around the globe. Additionally, the report shows that to date over £120 million has been awarded thus far, over £80 million of which is to support innovative business-led research, and almost £70 million of additional project-specific private capital has been leveraged into the UK alongside grants.

The second report we have published jointly with EY on the State of the Nation for UK biotech. The report shows that on key indicators – pipeline, investment capital raised, environment to start a company and innovative funding – the UK is the strongest bioscience cluster in Europe. I will be discussing the findings from the report in my “Coffee with Steve Bates” webinar on Thursday 17 October.

Finally, we also held our AGM last Thursday and revealed the members appointed to our Board for three years from 1 January 2014. The successful candidates are Kevin Cox, Donna Hackett, Jane Osbourn, Stephen Taylor, Patrick Verheyen and Tim Watts. Additionally, John Brown and Ian Tomlinson have been re-appointed to the Board. I look forward to working with them.