Science and Innovation Community was set up to engage the wider BIA membership in identifying and building on evolving science trends in the biotech industry that can give the UK a competitive advantage.

The aims of the community are to:

  • Influence the policy of government and funders of UK science and technology through proactive engagement with key stakeholders to the benefit of UK life science companies 
  • Encourage active networking between BIA member companies to facilitate communication, collaboration and sharing of best practice for mutual benefit
  • Address the identified science skills shortage in UK life sciences through a digital industrial placement pilot
  • Support adoption of digital and AI technologies in Discovery Science

Science and Innovation Community Priorities

1. Connect
  • Continue engagement with scientific and research communities and wider innovation ecosystem, UKRI and other funding bodies
  • Increase number of BIA members in the community
2. Expert Advice


  • Through active engagement with funders, influence relevant areas of science policy 
3. Inform/Support
  • Design and deliver digital/AI workshops/sessions at the TechBio UK conferences
  • Support member engagement with ARIA as it evolves
  • Keep KTN Funding Map current through quarterly engagement with funding stakeholders
  • Explore skills development in the Innovation and R&D community through a digital industrial placement pilot

BIA member benefits – why should you engage with Science and Innovation Community?

  • A strong voice with key stakeholders in discovery and translational science
  • Engagement with science funding bodies
  • Connecting science for the cross-fertilisation of ideas
  • Learn aboout and influence science policy
  • Development of skills for the R&D community
  • SICom listens to member needs

SICom blogs and resources 

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Health Funding Map 

Developed with KTN, this funding map helps in the navigation of the complicated world of innovation funding. The aim of the map is to provide an opportunity for innovators to start a conversation with KTN about how we can help you to navigate the innovation landscape.

New Science - Future Gazing

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Every meeting one of the SIAC members volunteers to lead discussions around a piece of cutting-edge science. Peter Simpson, Chief Scientific Officer at the Medicines Discovery Catapult kicked off the first in the series entitled 'Smelling the disease: Nosing our way towards earlier diagnosis and new biomarkers'. In this blog, you will read about how 'super-smeller' Joy Milne can identify individuals with Parkinson's disease or giant rats in Tanzania can detect TB from sniffing sputum.

Shaping the future: What areas of science are most important to the UK bioindustry?


With the formation of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) in April 2018 and the reorganisation of the UK’s science funding system, SIAC led a ‘Shaping the future’ workstream to identify areas of science that are most critical to the ongoing success of our industry. This paper summarises the conclusions and recommendations of the workstream and represents a snapshot of expert views from across the whole sector.

Technology Transfer

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SIAC brought together representatives from across the biotech/healthcare community to discuss technology transfer. This followed the Dowling Report and the subsequent report by the House of Commons Science and Select Committee on managing academic intellectual property. The BIA intends to address some of the issues highlighted, such as friction around IP licencing, by bringing together all the relevant parties and encouraging open dialogue.

Accelerating Drug Discovery through digital and AI innovations

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On 15 September 2021, SIAC hosted a workshop designed to engage UK industrial users of data, provide an overview of the use of Data/AI in drug discovery, and capture present and future industry needs and challenges regarding the development and use of data analytics and data systems.

Chaired by Justin Bryans, Vice-Chair of SIAC, there were short presentations on data generation, access, application, manipulation and visualisation from Dan Jamieson (Biorelate), Richard Goodwin (AstraZeneca), Rafael Jimenez (Medicines Discovery Catapult) and Namshik Han (Milner Institute).

This was followed by a lively Q&A panel, where Adam Sardar (e-therapeutics) and Richard Smith (Healx) joined the speakers on the virtual stage, along with Karen Wilkinson (KTN) and Liliya Serazetdinova (Earlham Institute), who facilitated further discussions around the perceived barriers and challenges in the data and AI space. This well-attended workshop was the first SIAC event in this space, with follow-on topics identified during the event included in the programme of the BIA’s inaugural TechBioUK conference.

SICom members


One of SICom's roles is to input into relevant consultations including:

BIA submission to NHS England's consultation on clinical research

The BIA has responded to NHS England’s consultation on clinical research.