A thriving biotech sector requires a pipeline of highly skilled talent. Research across the sector highlights the skills required to ensure a globally competitive industry and one that builds on a position of strength to capitalise on investment. 

The BIA advocates across the UK and beyond to ensure that the interest of our member organisations to influence key policies that impact on skills development. We work collaboratively with industry groups, charities, public sector organisations and academia to connect on common themes and raise the profile of skills across life sciences.  Our work is guided and informed by input from member organisations, our Skills Working Party and Advisory Committees, gathering important feedback on issues relating to skills, talent and people across the biotech industry.

In 2020 BIA partnered with the ABPI, Science Industry Partnership and Office of Life Sciences to produce the Life Sciences 2030 Skills Strategy, an action plan to address significant shortfalls in skills across life sciences and UK biotech, with an estimated 133,000 gap to fill over the next 10 years. The Life Sciences Vision emphasises the significance of having the right talent, taking actions on skills for scale-up to support UK Life Science companies start and grow, developing the skillset and knowledge of a world leading VC ecosystem and advocating the free flow of talent globally underpinned by the UKs new immigration system.  Attracting new and diverse talent through apprenticeships, analysing emerging future skills and building the links to educate ‘industry ready’ graduates in cutting edge technology, manufacturing and digital skills are all a part of the work BIA contribute to.


The life sciences 2030 skills strategy represents a collaborative research exercise into the skills required over the next decade, to ensure a globally competitve sector. Advocacy is a core BIA strength, and we have been a core partner in delivering the  life sciences 2030 skills strategy representing the views of organisations across UK Bio industry.


To learn more about the key people working on BIA skills activity please see the section below:

Dr Kate Barclay

Skills Strategy Consultant

Dr Kate Barclay is an Independent Consultant working across high impact Science and Technology industries with a passion for STEM education. As a Chartered Chemical Engineer and Fellow of the IChemE, she has spent over 20 years in the Bio-Pharmaceutical Industry as a Senior Leader in Global R&D leading technical and scientific project teams in clinical manufacture of parenteral, solid dose and inhaled dosage forms as well as developing novel device technologies. Since 2013 Kate has been instrumental in developing apprenticeships across the Science Industry, leading the Life Sciences and Industrial Sciences Trailblazer employer group in development of new apprenticeship standards. She pioneered apprenticeship implementation across the science industry and has won multiple national awards for quality of apprenticeship delivery. Kate has a passion for promoting opportunities for women in STEM, is an experienced vocational workplace assessor for apprenticeships and a Non-Executive Director of the Institute for Apprenticeships, assuring quality governance to apprenticeship and Technical Education reforms across England.

Nick Gardiner

Chief Operating Officer


Nick is responsible for overseeing the BIA’s operations, ensuring that all activities are professionally delivered to the highest standard. He will be providing an organisation-wide operational perspective to, and support for, activities and projects.

He has specific responsibility for office management/facilities, financial systems/processes and credit control, company secretariat, human resources and IT/telecoms. Nick joined the BIA in October 2014, bringing with him extensive industry and not-for-profit management experience.

Prior to this role he ran the Clinical Laboratory Division of Lab21. This involved providing specialist laboratory services to the healthcare, pharmaceutical and clinical trials markets. He had management responsibility for all operations, income, laboratory and customer services and client liaison across the Group. He also has specific experience of diagnostic testing within the HIV and HCV disease areas. This was gained through building Delphic Diagnostics into a one-stop-shop for clinicians, enabling more effective patient monitoring and subsequent treatment options.

Nick also has extensive management experience within the not-for-profit sector, working for a trade body representing and building the profile of the business communication industry.

Annette England

Bioprocessing Consultant


Annette is an external consultant with 28 years bioprocessing experience, who has supported three main bioprocessing projects within BIA since April 2014 – Manufacturing Advisory Committee (MAC), Medicines Manufacturing Industry Partnership (MMIP) and the Annual bioProcessUK Conference.

Annette has been a consultant since 2003, working with a range of academic and industrial organisations, and prior to that spent over 15 years in bioprocess development working for Ludwig Institute for Cancer Research, British Biotech and Applikon Biotechnology. She gained a BSc in Biological Sciences and an MSc in Biochemical Engineering from Birmingham University.

Jane Wall

Director of Business Development and Membership Services


Jane joined the BIA in March 2016 as Director of Business Development and Membership Services, with overall responsibility for the recruitment and retention of members, development and delivery of membership services and BIA events.

Prior to this role and a short spell at the Food and Drink Federation assisting with membership development, she held the positions of Associate Director and Head of Sales & Marketing over a period of seven years at the Fire Protection Association – leading on membership and member events, publications, risk services, sales and marketing, CRM implementation and digital presence. Jane’s experience prior to this included Business Development Manager within tech transfer at Oxford Brookes University, four years at T&F/Informa Journals as Managing Editor and Publisher, and reference publishing at Oxford University Press and IBSS (International Bibliography of Social Sciences).

Jane holds a first degree in Italian and European Literature from Warwick University, an MA in Social Anthropology from SOAS, and an MBA from Oxford Brookes Business School.

Sam Cruickshank

Programme Manager


Sam joined BIA in December 2019, and helps prepare the programmes and intellectual content of BIA events. Prior to this, Sam worked for Springer Nature as a Journal Development Editor, working alongside editors, authors and reviewers to develop a portfolio of academic medical journals.

Sam has a Masters in Biological Sciences from the University of Sheffield.