Web banner 720 x 215 96 dpi_FOMRounding off the year in style, it was great to catch up with a number of you at Genesis 2016 last week. A fantastic programme with plenty of discussion around innovation in the sector and some positive messages from presentations and panels throughout the day. I was delighted to be able to take part, chairing the panel session on “Generating an Infrastructure for Innovation” with representatives from Norwich Research Park, BBSRC, Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, Manchester Business School and Charles Russell Speechlys. Thanks to our United Life Science partners, One Nucleus, for a fantastic conference – a great way to tie up 2015. If you want to catch up on some of the discussions from the day, check out the event hashtag on twitter #ongc15 or @OneNucleus.

Also last week, representatives from across the sector joined Understanding Animal Research for the 79th Paget Lecture and Second Annual Openness Awards 2015. Many congratulations to all this year’s award winners, including Fiona Fox OBE, Chief Executive of the Science Media Centre, for her outstanding individual contribution to openness on animal research. The University of Cambridge was awarded a prize for its fantastic animal research video – a well-deserved winning piece, which highlights how mice are used in the fight against cancer, as well as discussing animal welfare and the search for alternatives. It’s encouraging to see so many great examples of openness from the sector – read the UAR blog from the event here to find out more.

Looking forward to January, which will be upon us sooner than you think, JP Morgan and the Biotech Showcase mark the beginning of the 2016 global biotech calendar. Our webinar on 6 January will give you the lie of the land as to what’s happening at the 2016 event, with a focus on what UK travellers and companies need to know. We’ll have expert input from colleagues who’ve been there and done it, including myself, to help save you time as you prepare for one of the busiest weeks of the year. Now in its eighth year, Biotech Showcase 2016 is expected to attract upwards of 2100 attendees. Make sure you’re on the list to attend, with discounts available – more information here. Details on some of the networking opportunities available during the week can be found here.

Also in January, tickets to 2016’s Gala Dinner are now limited. It’s your last opportunity to dine with Dippy before he is removed to make way for the blue whale skeleton which is set to welcome visitors through the Museum’s main entrance from summer 2017. More details available and reserve your spot here.

Further to the publication of the Accelerated Access Review interim report at the end of October, and the subsequent workshops and surveys we have made members aware of that have been taking the outline of the interim report, stakeholder engagement will be concluding early next year before the review team goes into report write-up mode. A final workshop on the pharmaceutical pathway will take place on Friday 15 January 11am-1.30pm, location TBC. Following that there will be a final stakeholder event on the AAR on the afternoon of Monday 8 February. Details are still to be confirmed by the government but if you would be keen to participate please contact Pamela Learmonth.

Beyond January and looking to the rest of 2016, we have numerous events planned throughout the year – from our flagship favourites to smaller regional events – do download our Events Flyer and get the important dates in your diary.

Finally, as the last Newscast of 2015, all that remains is to wish you all a Merry Christmas and a Happy New Year. 2015 has been a great year across the sector and I’d like to say a big thank you to all our members and supporters.

A reminder that our office will close at 5pm Thursday 24 December 2015 and will re-open Monday 4 January 2016. Newscast will return in the New Year. Have a good break and see you all in 2016.