Annual Lecture - An evening with Sir David Cooksey GBE

  • 18:00 - 21:00, 3 May 18
  • Francis Crick Institute, London
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In discussion with Steve Bates OBE, CEO, BIA and Matthew Foy, Partner, SR ONE.

The BIA Annual Lecture brings together a notable guest speaker and a brilliant mix of delegates, for what promises to be a remarkable evening. Join us on 3 May for 'An evening with Sir David Cooksey GBE'. 

Sir David Cooksey GBE formed Advent Venture Partners in 1981 as one of the first US style Venture Capital firms in Europe. He chaired it until 2006 during which time it invested in over 100 early stage life sciences companies as well as making investments in the IT and telecoms sectors. He was first Chairman of the BVCA and is now an Honorary Life President of the BVCA.

In 2003 he chaired the UK Biotechnology Innovation and Growth Team which published its report on the future of the UK Biosciences industry ‘Biosciences 2015’ which led to the formation of NIHR. In 2006 the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown, appointed David to undertake the ‘Cooksey Review of Health Research Funding’. That proposed new institutional arrangements for the funding of health research, the formation of OSCHR, the ring fencing of the MRC and NIHR budgets and it proposed a more streamlined regulatory environment to provide early access to new medicines. HMTreasury increased its funding of medical research substantially in response to the report.

More of David's many noteworthy achievements and roles include:

  • Governor of the Wellcome Trust in 1998 - he persuaded the Government to join Wellcome in funding the Joint Infrastructure Fund to improve the research facilities in our universities. Part of these funds were used to construct Diamond Light Source synchrotron accelerator at Harwell. He chaired Diamond from inception in 2002 until full operation in 2008 delivering it on time and on budget. Diamond is now a key tool for drug discovery.
  • The Cooksey Review was a major stimulus to the creation of the Francis Crick Institute which is now the largest biomedical research institute under one roof in Europe. David was chairman of the Crick from inception until successful delivery, retiring from the chair in August 2017. It is a unique joint venture between the MRC, Cancer Research (UK), the Wellcome Trust and Imperial, Kings and University Colleges giving it extraordinary access to London’s clinical infrastructure.
  • Chair of the Audit Commission for 9 years.
  • A director of the Bank of England for 11 years.
  • Chairman of UK Financial Investments from 2009 to 2012.
  • He currently chairs Bechtel Ltd which has been key to the delivery of High Speed 1, Crossrail and many other infrastructure projects. 
  • David was knighted in 1993 and made a GBE in 2007 both for public service.

More about Steve and Matthew

Steve Bates

Chief Executive Officer


Since his appointment as Chief Executive of the BioIndustry Association in 2012, Steve has led major BIA campaigns for, amongst other things, improved access to finance, the refilling of the Biomedical Catalyst, anti-microbial resistance and the opportunity the sector presents to generalist long term investors. Steve champions the adaptive pathway approach to the licensing of new drugs, the need for Early Access and is particularly proud of the working relationship the BIA has established with the UK’s leading medical research charities.

A founder member of United Life Sciences, a strategic partnership representing over 1000 life science and healthcare member companies across the UK and internationally, Steve attends the UK’s Ministerial Industry Strategy Group, and sits on The Royal Society's Science, Industry and Translation Committee.

Beyond the UK Steve is a member of EuropaBio’s Board and its National Association Council and is a founder member of the International Confederation of Biotech Associations. An expert and regular commentator on the sector in the media and at industry-leading conferences Steve has worked both in biotech (as Senior Director at Genzyme UK and Ireland) and at the highest levels of UK government (as Special Advisor to John Reid, MP, during his time in Tony Blair’s government) for over 15 years. Steve was awarded the OBE in January 2017.

Matthew Foy



Matthew Foy joined SR One’s London office in 2011. Previously he was a Vice President at Greenhill & Co, an M&A Investment Bank and Private Equity firm in New York. Matthew studied Molecular Biology at The University of Oxford; Drug Discovery at UCL; Corporate Finance at The London Business School and holds various FSA & SEC qualifications. His portfolio companies include AtoxBio, Progenitor, PsiOxus, Pulmocide and VHsquared.


Francis Crick Institute
1 Midland Rd
Kings Cross


18.00                    Registration and refreshments
18.45                    Welcome, followed by an interview with Sir David Cooksey
19.30                    Networking drinks reception
21.00                    Close

Registration fees

BIA member: Free of charge
Non member: £75 plus VAT or 3 for £190 plus VAT

Interested in BIA membership? Please email Michael McGivern, Membership and Business Development Manager

Terms and conditions


All cancellations must be made in writing by email, no later than ten days prior to the event. Refunds after this date are not permitted but you may send a colleague in your place and this should also be notified in writing.

Email to cancel your place.



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