The BIA has eight established advisory committees who deal with a range of topics, from regenerative medicine to finance and tax. Meeting once a quarter, the committees are crucial mechanisms to highlight and explore key issues facing bioscience companies. Committee members include influential experts from across the sector. Their work informs and guides BIA policy and priorities, ensuring that member needs are met. 

This week we have updates on the activities of the Synthetic Biology Advisory Committee and the Communications  Advisory Committee.

Synthetic Biology Advisory Committee (SBAC)

This year SBAC has remained front and centre within the evolving UK and international synthetic biology ecosystem. In April the committee partnered with SynBioBeta to bring their conference to London, which was a huge success, and BIA with UKTI will be running a trade mission to the SynBioBeta in San Francisco this November. This is the premier global conference focused on translational synthetic biology. Although targeted principally at start-ups and SMEs, it also draws in larger companies, investors and academics in the field.

The committee has heard presentations from a number of key leaders in the field including those from the new Synthetic Biology Research Centres, the Innovation and Knowledge Centre in Synthetic Biology, government investors and the British Standards Institute. Bringing all these parties together in the same room with 13 of the UK’s leading synbio companies represented by our committee was widely acknowledged as an extremely useful thing to do and the committee looks forward to continuing to promote the UK synthetic biology industry through more activities of this kind.

Communications Advisory Committee (CAC)

The CAC continues to provide a platform for discussions on communications within the sector. At each meeting committee members share best practice and intelligence on the latest developments in communications – the August meeting included some discussion on the FDA’s draft guidance on social media and the FCA’s approach to financial promotions.

Earlier this year the committee was asked to review and provide feedback on BIA communications, including its social media presence on Twitter, LinkedIn and YouTube. Other topics covered this year included the Concordat on openness on animal research and, following an update from the BIA, the committee also contributed feedback on the content for this year’s State of the Nation Report with Ernst & Young – you can see last year’s report here.

So far in 2014, the CAC has heard presentations from a variety of interesting speakers including national journalists new to the beat at the Financial Times and the Wall Street Journal, a digital media expert and communications professionals from across the sector on topics such as charity communications and responsibility reporting.