Last week, the Working Group stage of the UK EU Life Sciences Transition Programme was completed.  Six workshops have taken place and more than 100 individuals from ABPI and BIA member companies attended, along with stakeholders from organisations such as the MHRA, Wellcome Trust and MRC. I would like to take this opportunity to thank all BIA members who have been involved with and input into the programme over the summer.

PwC are now bringing the outputs of these meetings together for a strategy workshop taking place this week. This workshop will bring together member Co-Chairs from the subject workshops as well as representatives from other trade associations in the life sciences sector. Inclusion of the other trade associations ensures that the final output will represent all aspects of the life sciences sector. The project is still on course to deliver output on 6 September and I know Lord Prior, the Minister in Department of Health with life sciences responsibility, is looking forward to this meeting. If you would like an update on the progress then BIA in conjunction with the ABPI we will be holding another members townhall on the 18th August on the Transition Programme.  The meeting is open to all ABPI and BIA members and will provide the opportunity to hear about the processes and progress of the work, and to ask any questions that you may have.  Please confirm your attendance by completing the online form.  Please note that is event is for ABPI and BIA members only.  We will also be holding a webinar, open to stakeholders and members, on 2 September.

There was some good news from the Treasury this week as the Chancellor agreed to measures to cover the gap that will be left in research funding following the UK’s decision to leave the EU. All structural and investment fund projects signed before the Autumn Statement will be fully funded, even when these projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU. The Treasury will also put in place arrangements for assessing whether to guarantee funding for specific structural and investment fund projects that might be signed after the Autumn Statement, but while the UK remains a member of the EU. Further details will be provided ahead of the Autumn Statement. Where UK organisations bid directly to the European Commission on a competitive basis for EU funding projects while we are still a member of the EU, e.g. Horizon 2020, the Treasury will underwrite the payments of such awards, even when specific projects continue beyond the UK’s departure from the EU.

Chancellor Philip Hammond said: “We recognise that many organisations across the UK which are in receipt of EU funding, or expect to start receiving funding, want reassurance about the flow of funding they will receive. That is why I am confirming that structural and investment funds projects signed before the Autumn Statement and Horizon research funding granted before we leave the EU will be guaranteed by the Treasury after we leave. We are determined to ensure that people have stability and certainty in the period leading up to our departure from the EU and that we use the opportunities that departure presents to determine our own priorities.”

I would like to remind you all that nominations from individuals interested in joining our Board are now open. Nominations must be received by close of business on Wednesday 07 September 2016.

Finally, over the summer we are celebrating UK bioscience on the BIA blog with a series of infographics that look at some of the highlights to come out of our sector that have made a difference to tackling unmet patient need. You can download the series of infographics here.

All the best,

Steve