Sunday Politics4A short note from me this week as policy matters wind down for the festive period. Following November’s Spending Review, I featured on the BBC Sunday Politics show yesterday on the impact of the CSR on the sector. The changing environment at Innovate UK and what the “loans not grants” agenda means in practice is our top policy concern at present and one where we will be communicating on more broadly in the New Year. The Biomedical Catalyst is successful in leveraging private sector investment, and any new financial products developed by Innovate UK must work for business. The devil will be in the detail so for example, any loan product must not impinge on a company’s ability to grow and seek continued investment. If you’re interested in more, you can catch up on the show here – skip to 56 minutes in for the feature.

Last week the BIA inputted to the Treasury’s consultation on revisions to the Patent Box. As per the previous briefing note we published, this exercise really is about transposing new international rules into UK legislation. The Patent Box tax relief will still remain under the new scheme but in the future companies will need to demonstrate the link between the investment made in R&D in the UK and the income created from that to obtain the relief. In our response we emphasise the need for flexibility to comply with the new rules, the need for effective engagement for SMEs with HMRC and that the government ensures that its implementation of new international rules alongside that of other countries ensures that the UK’s Patent Box remains internationally competitive.

Following Professor Dame Sally Davies’ decision to step back from the day to day leadership role for Research and Development in the Department of Health, last week Professor Chris Whitty was appointed Chief Scientific Adviser, with the Research and Development Portfolio for the DH. Congratulations to Professor Whitty will take up his new post during December, reporting to Sally Davies the Chief Medical Officer who remains in post.

Finally, a note that as we begin the wind down to the festive period, next week will be the last Newscast of 2015.

Best,

Steve