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We’ve moved Newscast to Wednesday this week so as to be able to include highlights from our UK Bioscience Forum held yesterday (and pictured above). We published two key documents – our Fundamental Strengths of the UK Ecosystem: State of the Nation 2014 report with EY, which was picked up in the Financial Times here. We also published the UK Life Science Manifesto 2015-20 for the next parliament, which we’ve been working up with our partners in the newly formalised ‘United Life Sciences‘ – One Nucleus, Bionow and Biopartner.  The Manifesto document reflects over 12 months of detailed listening to, discussion with and debate amongst our members and highlights the key series of issues that we’ll put at the heart of our  advocacy work in the coming months.

We had some excellent panels and keynote speeches. Financial Secretary David Gauke’s words to the forum are here – which includes a stout defence of the Patent Box and strong support for key measures that make a difference to our sector. Lord Drayson talked about ‘driving health and growth’, calling for the sector to maintain our pressure on government to support our work and noting that, ultimately, a healthy nation depends upon a healthy life sciences sector. George Freeman MP, the Minister for Life Sciences, gave a video address which you can see here, telling us that his mission will be to accelerate the UK’s life sciences landscape so that we can get products tested and proven and to patients faster.

We’ll write up summaries of the day’s events and put them on the blog over the next few weeks, but for a quick recap and to see some snapshots of the day take a look at the #UKBSF hash tag on twitter.

I came away enthused and  confident about the steps forward the UK ecosystem have taken together but realistic about the nature of the challenge ahead – which is to build on the sector’s evident success and to raise our ambition and aim in the global race – in the words of Paul Drayson “we’ve got to look to put a nought on it”.

It’s also European Biotech Week this week so there’s lots of activity around the Union to tell the story of biotech – follow #biotechweek to see what else is going on. And there are just two weeks left before the BIA Regulatory Dinner Discussion on 22 October, where we’re looking forward to seeing a good debate with our guest speaker Dr Ian Hudson, MHRA’s Chief Executive, and senior experts from NICE, NHS England and NIBSC – join us there.

Many thanks for all your support,

Steve