Welcome back following the Easter break.

Beginning with a quick update on BIA staff changes, I am delighted to announce the arrival of two key new joiners to the team. Firstly, Jane Thurgood has joined as the new Director for Business Development and Membership Services. Jane joins us with a wealth of trade association experience specialising in business development and membership engagement. I believe Jane will be a fantastic asset to the organisation and I look forward to introducing her to you in due course. Also joining the BIA is Dr Martin Turner, in a new position of Policy and Projects Manager. Martin brings a wealth of relevant experience from the Royal Society, CaSE (the Campaign for Science and Engineering) and the AMRC (Association of Medical Research Charities) which will really strengthen the BIA’s advocacy offering.

As many of you know, the BIA’s Director of Public Affairs and Communications Pamela Learmonth will be going on maternity leave at the end of July 2016. As part of our plans to cover Pamela’s role whilst she is away we will be recruiting an Interim Head of Public Affairs and Communications. If you know of anyone in your network that would be interested in this great role do share the job description in the link (and on LinkedIn) and direct them to our BIA COO Nick Gardiner.

Many of you are at BIO-Europe Spring which kicked off today – so if you’re out in Stockholm do say hello to Jane and Beena who have travelled across to represent the BIA at the event. Others will be at SynBioBeta as it hits London from Wednesday, do say hi to Zoe from our team if you are there. Updates on both events to follow next week.

On upcoming BIA events, registration is now open for our UK CEO and Investor Forum, taking place at Down Hall, Hatfield Heath, just 45 minutes from central London. This year the Forum will kick off on the 22 June with an evening drinks reception and dinner, with the main event taking place on 23 June – so those attending will need to make sure they’ve registered for a postal vote in the EU referendum! This is our flagship event for C-Suite executives to connect and update on the state of the sector in an enjoyable and focussed 24 hours. Do take advantage of the early bird rates and register here.

M&A activity continues to move in the sector, with last week’s announcement that BIA member BioMoti is to be acquired by AIM-listed Physiomics. Congratulations to Davidson Ateh and team.

JDRF have written us a guest blog detailing some of the pioneering research currently funded by the charity. The £30,000 you raised for our charity of the year at our annual Gala Dinner in January will go towards enabling future UK research into type 1 diabetes, but the blog provides some great examples of the ground-breaking research currently being undertaken in the field and how it’s supported by the charity.