Last Thursday, 40 senior representatives from the UK’s life science industry convened in London for the BIA’s seventeenth annual Parliament Day – a key day of engagement between BIA members and policymakers in Westminster and Whitehall.

Taking place less than a month after the snap general election and just two weeks after Brexit negotiations began, Parliament Day 2017 was an excellent opportunity for our members to engage with key figures from the new government and parliament and to make them aware of the sector’s priorities for Brexit and the upcoming Industrial Strategy and Life Sciences sector deal.

BIA’s report, Building something great: UK’s Global Bioscience Cluster 2016, published earlier this year, shows that financing of UK biotech remains strong. The UK retained its leading position in European biotech funding last year and has the strongest pipeline in Europe for future drug development. However, for the UK to become the third global bioscience cluster, closing the gap on Boston and San Francisco, this momentum must be maintained despite the current economic and political uncertainty. We provided each of the policymakers we met on Thursday with a briefing outlining how this could be achieved:

  • Prioritise public health and protect the sector in the ongoing Brexit negotiations. The BIA is seeking:
    • Regulatory cooperation with the EMA
    • Frictionless trade in goods and services
    • A quick, simple, consistent and cheap immigration system
    • Reassurances on EU funding
  • Deliver an effective Industrial Strategy and Life Sciences Industrial Strategy which supports SMEs
  • Achieve the ambitions of the Accelerated Access Review

Parliament Day 2

As well as attending various meetings throughout the day, our members also enjoyed a canapé lunch on the House of Lords Terrace, kindly hosted by Lord Willets.

Our thanks also go to specialist recruitment firm Ellwood Atfield, who very generously allowed us to use their gallery space, appropriately decorated with election paraphernalia, as our base for the day – an excellent location from which to access Parliament and Whitehall.

Given the unexpected outcome of the snap election, resulting in a Conservative minority government, the opportunity Parliament Day provides for BIA members to engage with backbench and opposition MPs, as well representatives from the Government, has renewed value. In total, our members met with 36 policymakers in 22 meetings on Thursday, strengthening the BIA’s relationship with key contacts across the political spectrum – a full list is provided below. The BIA will now follow-up with these contacts to make sure they are aware of the value of UK life sciences and are actively supporting the sector.

Civil Servants

Dr Ian Campbell Director – Health and Life Sciences Innovate UK
Dr Cheryl Case Deputy Director, International Team Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Kenny Chigbo Senior Policy Advisor: Science Workforce Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy
Nicola Commander Senior Policy Adviser Office for Life Sciences
Tasha Niesen Senior Policy Manager Office for Life Sciences
Sir Andrew Dillon Chief Executive NICE
Ruth Froggatt R&D Tax Credits Policy Lead HMRC
Dr Hilary Glidden Chief Commercial Officer Life Sciences Organisation, Department for International Trade
Professor Sir Malcolm Grant Chairman NHS England
David Harris Patent Box Policy Lead HMRC
Lord Philip Hunt of Kings Heath Opposition Spokesperson for Health Labour Party
Jane James Patent Box Technical Lead HMRC
Holly Kelley-Weil Head of International Ecosystems Department for Environment, Food & Rural Affairs
Dr Zahid Latif Innovation and Supply Chain Specialist Life Sciences Organisation, Department for International Trade
Saira Madden Head of Investment Life Sciences Organisation, Department for International Trade
Dr Nicole Mather Director Office for Life Sciences
Wyndham North Head of Enterprise Investment HM Treasury
Professor Sir John Savill Chief Executive Medical Research Council
Dr Tony Soteriou Head of Research Infrastructure and Growth Department of Health
Joseph Spencer Policy Adviser: Enterprise Investment HM Treasury
Matthew Speers Chief Executive Officer Life Sciences Organisation, Department for International Trade
Dr Louise Wood Director of Science, Research & Evidence Department of Health
Tony Young National Clinical Director NHS England


Hilary Benn MP Member for Leeds Central Labour Party
Tom Brake MP Member for Carshalton and Wallington and party spokesperson on Exiting the EU and International Trade Liberal Democrat Party
Jo Churchill MP Member for Bury St Edmunds

And PPS to Jeremy Hunt MP


Conservative Party
Anneliese Dodds MP Member for Oxford East and Shadow Treasury Minister


Labour Party
George Freeman MP Member for Mid-Norfolk Conservative Party
Chris Green MP Member for Bolton West Conservative Party
Kit Malthouse MP Member for North West Hampshire Conservative Party
Rt Hon John Spellar MP Member for Warley Labour Party
Dr Philippa Whitford MP Member for Central Ayrshire and party spokesperson for health Scottish National Party


Lord Sharkey Chair of Association of Medical Research Charities
Lord Hunt o/f Kings Heath Shadow spokesperson for health
Lord Haskel Deputy speaker
Lord Willetts Chief Executive of Resolution Foundation and BIA board member

Parliament Day 3

Parliament Day 4

Parliament Day 5

Parliament Day 7