The BIA’s eight Advisory Committees are crucial mechanisms for highlighting issues facing bioscience companies, debating and influencing sector and policy developments, and providing useful networking communities for BIA members in their respective areas of focus.

On 25 February 2016, the BIA is hosting its second Committee Summit, where all BIA members are welcome to attend and check out some of the Committee meetings. Registration closes shortly so do sign up today.

Ahead of the event we will be highlighting some of the Committee’s work and areas of focus on the blog. First up is the Finance and Tax Advisory Committee.

Time and again BIA members tell us how important access to finance and the broader fiscal environment is to the development of their businesses and the overall strength of the sector.

The Finance and Tax Committee, which comprises CEOs and CFOs of bioscience firms, independent and specialist tax and finance advisers and in-house tax and finance leaders from biopharmaceutical companies, is a source of expert knowledge and insight which greatly contributes to the BIA’s work in this area.

Chaired by Colin Hailey of Confluence Tax, the Committee has led on a number of key agenda items in 2015 and shared its expertise with the broader membership base in a number of ways.

Patent Box reform was a key focus for the Committee in 2015, given that international tax discussions led to the UK having to introduce new terms to how the current UK system operates. FTAC members attended pre-consultation events at HM Treasury and the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), drafted the BIA’s formal consultation response, produced a Patent Box factsheet for BIA members and hosted a Patent Box workshop with HMRC. With the new rules taking force from July 2016, the Committee will continue to focus on this issue, contributing to HMRC guidance on how to practically comply with the new rules and doing further explanation work for members on the practical impact on the sector.

The Committee has also contributed its expertise that has informed BIA policy submissions on issues such as the operation of R&D tax credits and the EIS/SEIS scheme, which has been influential in policy thinking and contributed to some policy wins for the sector.

Beyond policy focused activities the Committee also gives thought to how it can share its expertise in practical ways with the rest of the BIA community, publishing in 2015 a FAQ on equity incentives.

The Committee has fed in its thoughts to BIA activity in the lead-up to last year’s Comprehensive Spending Review, including the campaigns the BIA has led on the Biomedical Catalyst, and it will be a key community to consult and advise upon how changes to some of Innovate UK’s funding products might impact the sector. See the BIA’s recent input into the 2016 Budget for more detail. This will be one of its areas of focus in 2016 alongside ongoing issues relating to the Patent Box, EIS/SEIS, R&D tax credits and advising on how the BIA engages with the forthcoming Business Tax Roadmap.

Keen to learn more? Then do come along to the Committee Summit on 25 February and learn more about the work of the Finance and Tax Committee alongside the seven other areas of focus from our Advisory Groups – Cell Therapy and Regenerative Medicine, Communications, Intellectual Property, Manufacturing, People, Regulatory Affairs and Synthetic Biology.