BIA regional focus: Newcastle and the North East

Thursday 10 June 2021

The BIA is delighted to announce a Newcastle and the North East regional event, taking place in virtual format.

The North East is becoming an extremely attractive place to grow innovative life science companies, and room to scale for well-established larger companies. In this event we will be hearing from the full spectrum of these to learn about the latest developments in this part of the UK. This will be followed by a panel discussion in which we discuss why the North East was chosen by these organisations, and what can be done to continue to encourage successes in the region. 

The afternoon will end with a chance to network remotely using Remo, a platform designed to mimic in-person networking as closely as possible. 


15.00   Sign in and networking
15.15   BIA update
15:25   Presentations followed by panel discussion and Q&A
             Jen Vanderhoven - National Horizon Centre
             Sam Whitehouse - LightOx
             Paul Found - FUJIFILM Diosynth Biotechnologies 

             Discussion will be chaired by Arun Harish (CPI)

16:30   Networking
17:30   Event closes



Steve Bates

Chief Executive Officer


Steve Bates has been the CEO of the UK Bioindustry Association since 2012. He currently chairs the International Council of Biotech Associations and has been a Board member of Europabio since 2015. Steve is the visible face of the vibrant UK life sciences industry to government and media. He sits on the UK’s Life Sciences Council and Life Sciences Industrial Strategy Implementation Board. Steve has championed with government effective industrial incentives like the Biomedical Cataylst which have crowded-in private sector investment into UK SMES. He has forged links for the sector across the USA, Europe and in China. In his time at the BIA Steve has developed new member groups focused on cell and gene therapy, genomics and engineered biology. A strong advocate of partnership working, Steve champions sector collaboration with research charities and academia. Proud to lead an organisation with a diverse Board with over 40% female representation, Steve is committed to next generation talent and developing the skills needed for the sector to flourish. Before the BIA, Steve worked for Genzyme and as an advisor to the UK Government of Tony Blair. He was made OBE for services to innovation in 2017.

Paul Found

Chief Operating Officer

Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies

Paul is responsible for all delivery operations at the Billingham site. He is a chartered chemical engineer and a lean six sigma Black Belt with over 15 years’ experience in chemical, pharmaceutical and biologics manufacturing.

Since joining Avecia Biologics in 2003 as senior process engineer, he has held various positions in engineering, business planning and project management until taking on his current role. Prior to joining the company he held various engineering positions with Monsanto Chemicals and GlaxoSmithKline.

Arun Harish

Strategy Director


Arun leads strategies for CPI’s sustainable growth and impact generation.

Since joining CPI in 2008, Arun has held diverse roles spanning technology commercialisation, innovation consulting, fund-raising from private and public sources and business development. He has also shaped the development of CPI’s National Healthcare Photonics Centre and the Medicines Manufacturing Innovation Centre.

Prior to joining CPI, Arun worked with venture capital funded technology start-ups in the UK (Farfield Group) and India (Tejas Networks), where he held business development and R&D roles. Arun is passionate about the role of innovation centres in enabling economic and societal impact and supporting cluster formation. He is a thought leader on investment readiness for high-growth SMEs, and has acted as Co-Chair for the European Commission’s Independent Steering group on investment readiness linked with SME actions.

Arun holds a PhD in medical nanotechnologies from the Faculty of Medical Sciences, Newcastle University and an MBA from Warwick Business School, where he specialised in entrepreneurial finance and venture capital.

Arun is the Founding Chair of a UK based charity UTSAAH (Uniting to Sustain and Assist Himalayan communities) which supports rural Himalayan communities in the areas of enterprise, conservation and healthcare.

Jen Vanderhoven


National Horizon Centre

Jen is the Director of the National Horizon Centre, where she is responsible for leading its establishment and development as a centre of excellence for the biosciences sector, representing the NHC nationally and regionally. She works with industry to ensure that provision is driven by current and planned needs for skills, research, innovation and talent and to ensure the commercial success of the NHC.

Previously to this, Jen has been a senior leader at Fujifilm Diosynth Biotechnologies (FDB), a Biologics Contract Development and Manufacturing Organisation, sitting on their global Leadership Team (GLT), where she was responsible for the execution of the FDB growth strategy and business change portfolio, ensuring the company meets its global vision, mission and our challenging business objectives.

Before joining FDB Jen spent four years as Network Manager of a UK Government (BBSRC) funded industrial biotechnology network made up of academia and industrialists. Prior to this Jen has worked in the bioscience industry in business development, sales and marketing, and lab management roles after gaining her doctorate from Sheffield University in metabolomics in 2007.

Sam Whitehouse



Dr Whitehouse is an experienced board member with executive experience in both innovation and service based companies. Overseeing the development and commercialisation of world leading products for healthcare products and working with some of the world’s leading institutes, he has brought some of the very best innovations to market. As CEO and board member, he oversees the governance and strategy of the company, giving guidance and structure for the team.

With a background in chemistry and molecular biology, and experienced in bringing research to commercial realisation Dr Whitehouse will oversee product portfolio expansion, regulation and accreditation in our specified target markets, as well as securing the required funding and commercial deals.


Virtual format & tech requirements

We are excited to bring you this BIA regional focused networking event in virtual format.

You will be able to join us online to network and, similar to an in-person event, move from virtual table to table to mingle with other attendees. The platform we will be using also includes useful features which will allow you to message directly with other attendees and share LinkedIn details to connect. There is also a general chat for all attendees.

During the presentations/discussion you will be able to submit and vote on audience questions and we will try our best to cover everything in the time allocated.

What are the technical requirements to attend the virtual event?

  • There is no software installation or download required.
  • Please attend using a laptop or desktop computer with audio and video capabilities (webcam and microphone). 
  • You will need to use one of the supported browsers to have the best user experience:
    Chrome, Safari, or Firefox.
  • Please do a system check in advance of the event, to ensure you will be able to join without issue.

If your company has firewalls or browsing restrictions in place, please test your connection and liaise with your IT team in advance to ensure you are able to fully participate in the event.

Cost and booking T&Cs

BIA members:     Free
Non-members:   £30 +VAT

By registering for this event you accept our Terms & Conditions.

In case of any issues registering for the event, please contact us at 


Thank you to our Event Supporter


BIA Annual Supporters