As expected, earlier today we saw the launch of Government’s Industrial Strategy green paper and consultation – read the press release here and view the consultation page and green paper from the hyperlinks.

It’s great to see life sciences at the heart of the government consultation on Industrial Strategy. They are right to focus on investing in science research and innovation, developing skills, supporting business to start and grow, and cultivating world leading UK sectors like biotech.

The BIA is already engaged in the government’s Industrial Strategy through our work with the life sciences group chaired by Sir John Bell, and creating a sector deal is a real opportunity to achieve the BIA’s vision for the UK to become the third biggest global biotech cluster by 2025.

With the right new policies we may even be more ambitious in 2017 if we have all the elements in place to be world beaters here. The Industrial Strategy should capitalise on the UK’s strong fundamentals that underpin our vision and help attract investment to the UK, stimulate the growth of our domestic industry, deliver effective and efficient healthcare for future generations, seize the opportunity of the UK’s lead in efficient and effective regulation of new technologies and demonstrate that the UK is open for business. We look forward to engaging.

This week we’re gearing up for a busy week with our flagship Gala Dinner on Thursday, following a full day of events in the City. The Future of Healthcare Investor Forum will be taking place at the London Stock Exchange for the third consecutive year, followed by our audience with the authors of Science, the State and the City, a book about the history of Britain’s industrial strategy for biotechnology. At the Gala Dinner, we’ll be announcing this year’s recipient of our Lifetime Achievement Award and raising money for our Charity of the Year, Alzheimer’s Research UK – updates to follow in next week’s blog.

Last week, the BIA’s Manufacturing Advisory Committee (MAC) launched their Skills Networking Tour at Fujifilm in Billingham. The development of managers in the biopharmaceutical and cell and gene therapy industries is an important part of the training landscape to deliver senior leaders of the future. The group of 11 (one representative from each of the participating companies) will attend a series of site tours to offer an overview of the work of other companies in the sector by seeing them in action. Each site visit is preceded by a pre-dinner the night before, to encourage the development of a network of peers.

We were delighted to welcome 10 of the 11 company representatives involved in the tour to the Fujifilm site (pictured) on Wednesday. The group had a detailed tour of two manufacturing facilities and parts of R&D. There were presentations on the site and company as well as the new potent molecule facility, some of the improvements undertaken and a career overview from one of the site leadership team. The participants were positive about the day and pleased to be part of the programme. We look forward to continuing to develop the programme and are pleased with the response from BIA members to be a part of the initiative.

Also on manufacturing, the Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership (MMIP), supported by the BIA, ABPI and KTN, would like to invite you to attend its inaugural Medicines Manufacturing in the UK event at AstraZeneca’s manufacturing plant in Macclesfield. The event will bring together representatives from across the medicines manufacturing community to talk about the challenges the sector faces and how to ensure that medicines manufacturing thrives in the future. If you’re interested in attending, click here to register.

On Thursday we were in Westminster for our roundtable on the Accelerated Access Review (AAR) chaired by Mike Farrar, with Lord Prior and representatives from across the Department of Health, the NHS, MHRA, charity and industry. It was a great opportunity to explore some of the content from the Review’s final report, with a lively discussion across the table. We’ll be publishing a report from the discussions in due course.

Last week we published our round-up of JP Morgan week on the blog – you can read it here. The next big international event will be BIO in June, with former UK Prime Minister David Cameron lined up to provide the keynote speech. As an international biotech association, BIA members are entitled to a discount on attendance at the conference. Sign up here to receive your code which should be used when you register for the conference.

A reminder that the Biomedical Catalyst 2017 Round 1 opens today – you can apply here and also register for the briefing event webinar on 6 Feb.

Looking forward to seeing you on Thursday at our City events and the Gala Dinner – don’t forget we’re at The Brewery!