Archives for category: People

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Last week the Science Industry Partnership (SIP) launched their Strategic Skills Action Plan. This follows their Skills Strategy launched in 2016. Today’s guest blog from Malcolm Skingle, Chair of the SIP board, takes a look at the changing image of vocational education.

We are currently witnessing the most far reaching changes to further and higher education in decades – including to the funding environment (the Apprenticeship levy) and across technical education more broadly (The Post-16 Skills Plan). And the Government has also set a target for three million more apprentices “to deliver the skills employers need” in this Parliament.

Alongside this education reform, the Government is building its new Industrial Strategy and its Green Paper is out for consultation. One of the Paper’s 10 ‘pillars’ is to build a “proper system” of technical education.

The Science Industry Partnership has been working hard to influence all of this, and indeed has been very positive about what it sees as an unprecedented opportunity to position academic and technical qualifications on an equal footing. We want to ensure that, in future, technical and vocational education is a distinctive, prestigious, high-quality offer in its own right and a positive, informed choice for young people.

Our employer members have always delivered high-paid, high-skilled jobs; but in recent years, we have put out a clarion call for much better, higher quality, vocational education to meet the demands of our high skill STEM occupations.

Along with the BIA, the SIP recently responded to the Science and Technology Committee’s inquiry “Closing the STEM Skills Gap” to further build the evidence base around pressing STEM skill shortages and the need to reduce them. We set out, in our response, what our SIP Skills Strategy had told us – that there are a range of occupations where appropriately skilled people are in critically short supply.

And the solution? The continued pursuit of excellence in delivery of science vocational skills, supported by industry. The need to build greater capacity in the college and university system for evolving skill areas. And the appropriate funding to sit alongside this.

For example, new degree apprenticeships carry parity of value and esteem for both learners and employers.  They offer a fantastic route to a STEM career, creating a new type of graduate who becomes technically competent through undertaking advanced work-based learning while studying.

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Strategic Plan

The SIP has developed a Strategic Skills Action Plan that has a five year horizon. This sets out the cross sector collaboration with a range of key partners that is required in order to deliver on this high skill, vocational agenda.

A clear part of this plan is to create a network of vocational science Higher Education Institutes (HEIs) around the UK. HEIs have a critically important role to play, and some may have to depart from traditional frameworks of study and create even stronger relationships with employers, to ensure a fit-for-purpose curriculum supported by industry.

The newly announced Institutes of Technology are also set to play a key part in STEM education. These will bring supply and demand together, working across Further and Higher Education and in partnership with local employers to create community bodies that really add value.

Our “Trailblazer” employer group is playing a vital role too, in developing new Apprenticeship Standards and assessment of competence that are creating a clear, accredited route through to the top of the most advanced science professions. We know that the apprentices in our sector are ambitious to achieve professional status. We were delighted to announce recently that ten apprentices from leading science-based companies, Lucite and Pfizer, were the first to successfully complete the new STEM Trailblazer Apprenticeship Standards. They met the Standard across many different disciplines ranging from complex manufacturing of active pharmaceutical ingredients, drug product formulation design, synthetic organic chemistry and analytical research & development, all underpinned by an extensive training programme in the workplace.

Finally, while we are wholeheartedly supportive of this newly developing model of high quality, vocational education, we do continue to call for much more flexibility in the use of the levy. For example how might we make best make use of unused Apprenticeship Levy within the science sector to optimise employer engagement on training and to support upskilling of the workforce?

The forthcoming Industrial Strategy gives us an opportunity to work together to maximise this investment. We are developing a proposal for skills, as part of the “Sector Deal” for science, a much welcome invitation which was put forward from Government in its Green Paper.

The SIP recognises that all of this reform and change presents challenges and opportunities for science employers, and our members will continue to work, in conjunction with Government and its agencies, Trade and Professional Bodies, Providers and Higher Education Institutes to meet the skills challenges facing the science sector now and in future.

The power of the sector approach is here to stay.

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As we gear up to this year’s BIA Committee Summit on 24 February, we’re taking a look at what some of our eight Advisory Committees have been up to. In today’s blog, Kit Erlebach, Deputy Chair of the Manufacturing Advisory Committee, details their bioproduction leadership initiative which launched in January.

On the 17th and 18th January, the BIA’s Manufacturing Advisory Committee (MAC) launched their Skills Networking Tour at FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies in Billingham. The programme was created to support the development of the next generation of bioprocess leaders, as part of BIA MAC’s objectives of connecting, advising and influencing.

The recent action plan delivered by the Advanced Therapies Manufacturing Taskforce, co-chaired by Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, Jo Johnson MP and Ian McCubbin, SVP North America, Japan & Global Pharma Supply, GlaxoSmithKline, outlined the need for an end-to-end talent management plan to secure the relevant skills for emerging manufacturing technologies. This is an essential pillar to establishing the UK as the global hub of advanced medicinal therapy manufacturing and ensuring the long-term success of this industry in the UK.

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. Two key aims of the MAC initiative are:

  • to promote cross-sector learning  by offering an overview of the work of other companies across biopharma, vaccines and cell and gene therapy by seeing them in action
  • to develop a network with peers to promote best practice

A total of 11 BIA member companies are currently taking part in the scheme: Allergan, the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult, F-star, FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies, GE Healthcare, Lonza, MedImmune, Oxford BioMedica, Pall, Porton BioPharma and UCL.

As part of the project, the group of 11 participants (one representative from each of the above 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 Diosynth Biotechnologies site in January. We 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 very positive about the day and pleased to be part of the programme, giving some great feedback on the day. We look forward to continuing to develop the programme to deliver on the needs of BIA members and wider industry.

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Today the BIA launched the next phase of its Celebrating UK Bioscience campaign. The aim of this campaign is to showcase the great work taking place in the sector – focusing on the potential human benefits of treatments that are currently in research and development – and to bring a greater understanding of the UK biotechnology sector to new audiences.

Biotechnology is technology based on biology, the science of life. Scientists in our sector work with living organisms to drive the development and manufacture of drug treatments, advanced therapies and diagnostic tests to support patients in the UK and beyond. The BIA is the trade association for innovative healthcare companies rooted in the UK’s bioscience base. The sector continues to evolve, investing in research and development activities, and translating research from the UK’s world leading science base into medicines to treat patients.

There is great depth and breadth in UK biotechnology: from a strong and emerging regenerative medicine and cell therapy sector, to specialist biomanufacturing companies developing therapies for cancer treatment, to personalised treatments and new antimicrobials. Advances in technologies such as synthetic biology are impacting upon the development of new types of therapeutics and new production methods. UK bioscience is not only changing lives, but saving them. It is vital that the sector continues to get the support it needs to keep this essential research and development going, now and in the future.

This campaign takes a look behind the scenes in the labs of some of our members to see what they are researching and developing and what the possible patient benefits these drugs and treatments could have in the future. The report is divided into five treatment areas: cancer, antimicrobial resistance, type one diabetes, dementia and Duchenne muscular dystrophy. Most people will be familiar with cancer and dementia, but this project wanted to look at less understood areas such as type one diabetes and antimicrobial resistance, as well as a rare disease, Duchenne muscular dystrophy, to demonstrate the breadth of scientific research and development taking place in our sector.

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A number of charities that took part in this project are directly funding research in BIA member companies. Collaborations between industry and medical research charities are increasingly recognised as a mutually beneficial relationship. This brings the patient perspective to companies and enables patients to access clinical trials or to stay informed about R&D, and even allows vital funds to be channelled into clinical research.

Alongside the report, there is a series of infographics and videos, which add further insight into each condition and what BIA members are doing to tackle them. You will hear first-hand from patients and their families who have shared their personal stories and what they hope UK biotech will be able to achieve. Go to www.bioindustry.org/newsandresources/celebrate to view and download all the resources.

Today’s BIA member video showcase comes from SynbiCITEthe Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC) for Synthetic Biology funded by the UK Research Councils, EPSRC and BBSRC, and Innovate UK.

As we look forward to SynBioBeta in San Francisco next week, this week’s video highlights a new £200k annual competition designed to bolster UK companies aiming to solve significant global problems through synthetic biology. The not-for-profit competition offers the winner a combination of £100k cash plus laboratory space, a ten-week accelerator programme with mentorship, consumables and professional services valued at ~£100k. Find out more in the video below.

As part of European Biotech Week, on Wednesday BIA launched a directory listing mentoring and training schemes available to help UK biotech companies build their next generation of leadership and management talent. Download Growing the next generation of UK management talent here.

Do you have a video you would like the sector to see? Contact us.

talent-docAs part of European Biotech Week, the BIA has launched a directory of mentoring and training schemes available to help UK biotech companies build their next generation of leadership and management talent.

The BIA’s Vision for the UK life sciences in 2025 sets out ambitious goals for the sector to hit if it is to achieve the overall vision of becoming the world’s third largest biotech cluster – similar in size and scale to Greater Boston today.

One of the goals that the Vision sets out is to have 10 times more management talent as this will enable the sector to grow and succeed both now and in the future.

The UK biotech ecosystem has a strong foundation on which to build new biotech management talent and parts of this ecosystem are already working well. There is some depth in venture capitalist-backed companies in the South with repeat entrepreneurs. There have also been specialist skills from Pharma coming into the sector through the restructuring of research and development organisations.

However, the sector faces critical challenges in securing bright, skilled staff with entrepreneurial flair and leadership élan. Two thirds of BIA members who took part in a survey with the ScaleUp Institute at the end of last year said that they needed more management talent. These skills are critical for successful biotech given the complexity of the development cycle and its funding needs. Deep functional expertise is not enough. UK bioscience needs leaders who combine a depth of related skills and expertise in a single field, with the ability to collaborate across disciplines with experts in other areas and general management skills. Some of this talent exists today, and some is world class, but the UK needs an order of magnitude to build the cluster.

In drug development alone, the BIA estimates that the UK needs at least 130 extra clinical stage management teams and will need yet more talent in other health innovation and support service sectors. That talent needs to be more ambitious, multi-skilled and to have the right leadership behaviours to drive growth and global success.

“However much the industry has grown and matured in the last half dozen years, the pool of proven leaders is nowhere near large enough to meet demand. Each acquisition of an innovative biopharma firm may put another set of executives on the street, but they will immediately receive multiple job offers. The number of companies in the industry is growing much faster than the number of talented people.” Catalyst Advisors 2016 Review and Outlook

What is the BIA doing to tackle the issue?

“Employers need to shift from being talent takers to skill creators. Employers should shift from searching for the employee with the perfect combination of specific skills and experience to creating jobs and businesses that incorporate both formal training, apprenticeships, mentoring models, and active development with on-the job training through assignments and experiences.” Reframing the Talent Agenda: The shift, the race and the riddle

The aim of this directory is to support UK bioscience companies in building the management talent they need and is aimed at people who are already working in UK bioscience or just starting out in the industry. BIA members took part in research with the ScaleUp Institute and the results showed that two thirds of respondents were interested to grow their own management talent and more than half were interested in mentoring and professional support.

This publication aims to support these BIA members and the wider sector to grow the next generation of management talent by showcasing the range of training and mentoring opportunities that are already working to upskill the biotech leaders of the future. The schemes have been put forward by BIA members as they have helped them and their teams to increase their management capabilities.

The opportunities in the directory are aimed at all levels of experience. From getting your first business off the ground, through to honing and developing your existing management skills.

In a world where knowledge doubles every year and skills have a half-life of 2.5 to 5 years, leaders need constant development. This ongoing need to develop leaders is also driven by the changing expectations of the workforce and the evolving challenges businesses are facing, including two major themes underlying this year’s trends: globalisation and the speed and extent of technological change and innovation.

This is a living document and the team will aim to update it in 2017, so if there are schemes you feel would benefit the BIA’s wider membership then let us know.

The BIA will be continuing its work on the talent agenda at the UK Bioscience Forum on October 20th, where there will be a session supported by the BIA’s People Advisory Committee: The next generation of talent – from boardroom to bench. Click here to book your place at the UK Bioscience Forum.

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From the Apprenticeship levy to Brexit, the shifting policy and skills landscape will mean change ahead for the science industries. The Science Industry Partnership (SIP) is making its voice heard on all these issues and assessing the implications for industry around the key challenges the sector is facing. Malcolm Skingle, Director, GSK and Chair of the SIP board, details their recent work below.

In recent months, the UK has witnessed the outcome of the referendum on European Union membership – which sees us moving towards a “Brexit”.  We’ve also seen the publication of the Sainsbury Review – which set out the most significant transformation of post-16 education in decades, and of course April 2017 sees the introduction of the apprenticeship levy.  Here we explore these events, and some other key developments in the landscape.

Skills moving from BIS to DfE
Skills are now entirely under the remit of the Department for Education (DfE) having been moved from the control of the former Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) –  since replaced by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). On the face of it the opportunities created by integrating FE, Skills and Apprenticeships with schools could bring a more seamless approach to transitioning from learning to work and reflects the ambition of the Government’s recent Post 16 Skills Plan (see below). However the SIP is clear that there needs to be a continued strong link between Skills and Industrial Strategy and we will continue to engage with and work closely with both BEIS and the DfE to support their ambition and ensure the clear overlap is factored into policy thinking.

Apprenticeship levy
The Government recently confirmed that the apprenticeship levy is going ahead as planned. While it is focused on larger employers, it is also linked to a wider apprenticeship reform agenda that impacts on all employers.  The SIP wholeheartedly supports the Government’s plans to boost apprenticeships, with its own ambitious target for 20,000 coming into the sector over the next 5 years.  However, we want to see the Government carefully managing all the risks involved. If we don’t get the transition to the new system right, there’s a real danger that the uptake of apprenticeships will be adversely affected. Robert Halfon, the new Apprenticeships and Skills Minister has described the successful introduction of the levy in April 2017 as the “single most important” aspect of his new role. The key dates for the levy are 6 April, when payment of the levy starts, and 1 May, when the funding system comes into effect. SIP comment on the levy

Sainsbury Technical Review
July saw the publication of the long-awaited report from the Sainsbury Review of Technical Education and the resulting Government Post-16 Skills Plan. The SIP believes this Plan is good news for learners and employers, as it provides an unprecedented opportunity to position academic and technical qualifications on an equal footing. The core of the plan sees the development of 15 new “pathfinder” technical routes, which include STEM options in Health and Science and Engineering and Manufacturing. The SIP is a ready-made employer panel to lead on STEM Standards for the new routes; it plans to work with the new Institute for Apprenticeships and Technical Education to shape the learning and set out universally agreed standards for the new routes proposed. The key dates for the Skills Plan are October 2017 when the technical qualification content will be developed for the new routes and September 2019 which will see teaching of the routes begin. Full Skills Plan

HE White Paper
In May, the former Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) published its HE White Paper, Success as a Knowledge Economy: Teaching Excellence, Social Mobility and Student Choice. SIP members recognise that the UK has a global reputation for a high quality university system, and it is highly supportive of the Paper’s focus on the quality of teaching, more transparency around performance and ensuring students are prepared for the world of work.  Government has said that this will all be delivered through a new Teaching Excellence Framework (TEF).  SIP employers are already committed to playing their part in building a business-ready scientific workforce, at all levels.  Support for Student Internships in industry, Degree Level Apprenticeships and specialist Masters Level courses are a key feature of the SIP’s Operational Plan. The full TEF structure will be introduced over the next 4 years.   Full HE White paper

Brexit
The UK is still getting to grips with its decision to leave the EU and the SIP is seeking clarity on the skills agenda post “Brexit”.  We have called upon Government to reassure employers that skills policy will not be subject to further change. Areas under the spotlight for the science industries include what the decision means for EU nationals working in the UK, the ability to recruit  skilled individuals and the impact of Brexit on UK Science.  The UK has a world leading science base – but a key concern is continued access to talent. This is supported by the SIP’s recent research which forecasts the sector’s demand for skilled people out to 2025 – a projection of between 180,000 – 260,000 new scientific staff, many in new technology-based occupations. Of course the exit from the EU will not happen for at least 2 years; however SIP members recognise the need to be proactive and to work with the Government to ensure the very best environment for science-based companies.

Funding
Devolution deals are providing specific localities with the power to make their own funding decisions and the SIP is also engaging with bodies such as Local Enterprise Partnerships (LEPs) on industry priorities. Indeed, it has successfully bid for a number of local projects which are delivering science skills into the sector. We can also expect the Government’s Autumn Statement later this year; the Chancellor Philip Hammond has said, “now we are entering a new phase in the story of the British economy with the decision to leave the European Union. Our economy will change as we go forward to the future and will require a different set of parameters.” So we await the statement with interest.

For further information on skills support offered through SIP membership contact kate.hutchins@cogentskills.com

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Following our talent theme on the blog in September, today Paul Cashman, Partner, Global Clients at The RSA Group discusses due diligence in exec hiring.

Hiring the wrong people into senior positions is a big financial and reputational risk. Recent research shows that 48% of new hires fail within the first 18 months. For execs earning up to $300,000 this can be 3.5 X the salary cost and even more for those higher up the corporate ladder, with the true cost of a bad CEO hire coming out at anything up to $30 million for big cap pharma (according to Leadership IQ).

Large companies may ride out the drop in share price or sales; the drop in morale and the exit of key talent. But these quakes cause long-lasting tremors in the organisation and inevitably the seismic effects are always damaging for the company and sometimes fatal for people’s careers.

For the smaller companies – fast growing biotechs and newly emerging mid-sized companies going through change – failed hires can spell catastrophe.

Here’s the paradox though. Most firms will readily agree that hiring is their key priority, but at the same time they treat it as a commodity activity driven by a search for the lowest unit cost. There needs to be more focus on the ROI of great people, currently an almost non-existent concept at many companies.

Due diligence is used to support every major business investment. Can you imagine any M&A without it? Recruitment should be undertaken in the same way as any other strategic business decision, using evidence for hiring the chosen candidate and developing a precise on-boarding programme to enable them to deliver.

New hires often come from widely differing business cultures, lacking the networks and support needed to deal with the pressures of a new job, where they are expected to make an immediate impact. Many HR pros believe that in addition to the basic on-boarding , targeted coaching and mentoring should be mandatory in the first six months. Imagine the difference if the on-boarding spend was even 20% of the exec’s travel budget!

Steve Jobs said, “a small team of A+ players can run circles around a giant team of B and C players”. Most investors and CEOs agree with him that people are their most valuable asset, but the collective absence of due diligence and on-going support of new hires is neglectful at best.

Isn’t it time we walked the talk and invested in talent?

The BIA’s People Advisory Committee hosted a session at the 2015 UK Bioscience Forum where the audience made it clear that there needs to be a stronger industry focus on mentoring the next generation of management talent and that the BIA should be playing a leading role.

This is why we have bought together a directory of schemes to showcase the breadth of options open to companies and individuals in the sector today and we will be launching this in the Autumn. This publication kicks off the BIA’s wider work on the issue of talent and our People Advisory Committee will be playing a central role in driving this forward.

This month we’re taking a look at talent on the BIA blog. 

Rainbow Seed Fund and SynbiCITE recently announced a new £200,000 competition, Bio-start, designed to bolster UK companies aiming to solve significant global problems through synthetic biology. The not-for-profit competition offers the winner a combination of £100k cash plus laboratory space, a ten-week accelerator programme with mentorship, consumables and professional services valued at ~£100k. Find out more below.

Midven’s Rainbow Seed Fund, along with SynbiCITE, a pioneering Innovation and Knowledge Centre (IKC), have announced the launch of Bio-start. This annual competition, worth £200,000 to the successful UK innovator, will help early-stage synthetic biology innovators to move ground-breaking ideas closer to the market.

The science of synthetic biology

Synthetic biology lies at the cross point of science, engineering and computing. It can be described as the design and engineering of biologically based components, novel devices and systems as well as the redesign of existing, natural biological systems, and its gives scientists the opportunity to design bespoke organisms to carry out new roles. Its potential has been recognised beyond the lab bench – in 2013, the UK government described synthetic biology as one of the eight great technologies that can support UK science strengths and business capabilities.

Applications for synthetic biology include the development of sustainable energy and new drugs, could help with waste remediation and event begin to alleviate food and water shortages.

The Bio-start boost

The not-for-profit contest Bio-start competition has been created by SynbiCITE and Rainbow Seed Fund to support UK companies that are working to solve significant global problems through synthetic biology. Its aim is to support innovative early-stage companies and people with great ideas in healthcare, clean tech, industrial biotech or any sector that makes use of synthetic biology.

Oliver Sexton, Investment Director at Rainbow Seed Fund, said: “We’re confident about the UK’s strength in synthetic biology and believe there is potential to build world-class companies in the UK. Bio-start is an important element in our strategy of helping develop this promising sector. It will also be an opportunity for corporate sponsors to engage with promising young companies in the synthetic biology industry.”

The prize is worth £200,000 and is comprised of:

  • £100,000 in funding
  • Laboratory space
  • A ten-week accelerator programme with mentorship
  • Consumables and professional services valued at ~£100,000

Registrations must be completed by midnight on 14 October 2016 using the application form on the Bio-start website and completed entries must be submitted by midnight on 31 December 2016. Application areas can be in healthcare, clean tech, industrial biotech or any sector that can make use of synthetic biology.

Co-founder Stephen Chambers, CEO of SynbiCITE, said: “This is a first in the UK for synthetic biology and our aim is to help as many companies and entrepreneurs as we can. Once applications have been assessed up to 25 companies will go through our ten-week boot-camp and mentoring programme. Up to 10 of these companies will go through to the final awards event where they’ll have a chance to pitch their ideas to an expert panel in front of an audience of investors and industry leaders.”

The BIA’s People Advisory Committee hosted a session at the 2015 UK Bioscience Forum where the audience made it clear that there needs to be a stronger industry focus on mentoring the next generation of management talent and that the BIA should be playing a leading role. 

This is why we have bought together a directory of schemes to showcase the breadth of options open to companies and individuals in the sector today and we will be launching this in the Autumn. This publication kicks off the BIA’s wider work on the issue of talent and our People Advisory Committee will be playing a central role in driving this forward.

BIA membership continues to grow by 25% each year. In today’s blog we take a closer look at the 300+ companies which make up our membership.

Members

The BIA currently has over 300 members. Ranging from innovative start-ups and SMEs, to multi-national companies, our members are responsible for over 90% of biotech medicines currently in clinical development in the UK. To keep up to date with the latest news from our members, do check out our Member News page.

313 members

Locations

Our goal is to secure the UK’s position as a global hub and the best location for innovative research and commercialisation. The BIA brings organisations from around the UK together to network and share best practice. Click on the image below to visit our interactive map and see where our members are located, across the UK and beyond.

Membership_map

Business Areas

BIA member companies work in a number of areas, whether biotech, pharmaceutical, academic, service providers or others. The bar chart below illustrates the various business areas which our members focus on.

BIA Members' Focus

Research Areas

Those members focusing on R&D and manufacturing are working in a variety of therapeutic areas, from antibiotics to vaccines, and everything in between. The BIA’s charity of the year for 2016 is type 1 diabetes charity JDRF.Research AreasNew members

In 2015, 59 new members joined the BIA. To view the full list of companies within BIA membership, why not visit the BIA member directory.BIA members 2015

 

For more stats on the BIA see our Year in Numbers.

 

VisionContinuing our February focus on the BIA’s eight Advisory Committees, ahead of our second Committee Summit later this month, today we take a look at how the People and Communications Advisory Committees are helping to drive the talent agenda.

At the inaugural BIA Committee Summit in April 2015, the BIA launched its Vision for the UK Life Sciences Sector in 2025 outlining an ambitious vision to build the third global biotech cluster behind global leaders, the US heavyweights of Massachusetts and California.

The provision and cultivation of industry talent is key to achieving this vision and was identified as one of 10 themes to drive the change needed over the next decade to install the UK as the third global biotech cluster. If we are to reach this goal, the sector will need at least 130 extra clinical stage management teams and will need yet more talent in other health innovation and support sectors. That talent needs to be more ambitious, multi-skilled and have the right leadership behaviours to drive growth and global success.

With expertise from HR professionals across the biotech sector, tackling the industry’s talent agenda and the challenges laid out in the vision document is an important focus for the BIA’s People Advisory Committee (PAC). Key Committee members sought feedback on some of these challenges as part of a session at last year’s UK Bioscience Forum in October, with discussions around mentoring and nurturing the next generation of biotech talent in the UK. This focus will continue into 2016 with direct input into a document that is part of the BIA’s Celebrate activity that will signpost mentoring and personnel development opportunities that exist for those working in the sector. The project will also involve the Communications Advisory Committee (CAC) who will provide support and advice.

This celebration of current UK bioscience talent is a continuation of recent BIA activity celebrating the UK’s vibrant sector, including the publication of a report back in June 2015. Listed as another of the 10 themes for change, celebrating sector success was identified as an important driver in achieving our vision for 2025.

The UK bioscience sector continually produces great success stories around scientific discovery and financial successes alongside amazing patient stories that demonstrate the human impact of the sector but they remain under-sung. To mobilise for change, we need to celebrate our success more, champion the sector internationally and create the positive momentum to make our vision reality. Acting as a critical friend on BIA communications activities, CAC members will continue to input to the Celebrate project in 2016, alongside other BIA campaigns and publications. With an extensive network of communications expertise, Committee members can help to amplify the profile of BIA campaigns and provide a diverse source of contacts from across the industry for comment.

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