Year in numbers for NewscastGreetings from San Francisco this week as I join the deluge of UK companies travelling across the Atlantic for this year’s Annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference and the Biotech Showcase. Myself and Harriet Fear, One Nucleus, kicked off the week with some welcome drinks last night – great to see so many faces and a fantastic buzz around the UK sector ahead of the conference.

The conference itself officially kicks off today, with the Biotech Showcase taking place until Wednesday. I’ll be discussing the UK as a global hub for life sciences and investment as part of a panel session on Tuesday morning at 8am (4pm UK time if you want to follow on Twitter), alongside Eliot Forster of MedCity/Immunocore, Saku Saha from Woodford Investment Management, Paul Tomasic from RBC Capital Markets, Daphne Zohar of PureTech Health and Chris Mayo from the London Stock Exchange. I’m also looking forward to catching up with many of you at our joint reception with AstraZeneca and MedImmune on Wednesday. More updates following JPM to come next week.

This week also sees the policy world kicking back into action. We’ll be involved in several interesting meetings this week including a reception with Sajid Javid on Wednesday evening, attending the NIHR’s Parliament Day with George Freeman and Sally Davies as well as attending the Accelerated Access Review’s final pathway event with Sir Hugh Taylor and Sir John Bell at the close of the week.

With the dust settling post the CSR, discussions are starting to begin in Westminster and Whitehall on the practical implications of the headline announcements delivered by the Chancellor in November. Mid-week we are delighted to be co-hosting a Parliamentary roundtable with the MRC, AMRC, ABPI and BIVDA on the potential implications of several initiatives on the medical research landscape, including the Nurse review and the creation of Research UK (see our blog here).

In February, the All Party Parliamentary Group on Life Sciences that we support with our Life Sciences UK partners will be meeting to discuss the issue of access to funding for the life sciences sector. This will be a great way to further educate Parliamentarians about the funding landscape for the sector as well as discuss how changes afoot at Innovate UK could impact this, namely potential changes to the operation of the Biomedical Catalyst scheme. As the number of members we can involve direct will be limited due to capacity limitations, we are keen to receive any views on this issue ahead of the event to inform the agenda and raise with MPs. If you would like to share your views with us please email Pamela Learmonth by 22 January.

As we go full steam ahead into 2016, it’s important to reflect on our progress over the past year. We certainly enter this year off the back of an impressive 2015 at the BIA, evidenced in our new Year in Numbers infographic. Across our policy and regulatory affairs activity, we held over 80 meetings with parliamentarians, civil servants, ministers, shadow ministers and regulators, strengthening our links and influence at a national and European level. We achieved in excess of 180 media mentions and saw continued growth in our number of followers across social media, keeping you up to date on the latest news for the sector. Our events programme saw us travel across the UK, from the far afield cities of Edinburgh and Nottingham to the not so distant streets of central London, entertaining 2810 delegates at over 30 events. All of these successes provide a fantastic foundation to build on through 2016.

Many thanks for all your support – here’s to another fantastic year of UK bioscience

Best

Steve