£30 million Biomedical Catalyst opens for applications following successful BIA campaign

From today, innovative biotech companies will be able to apply for access to a share of £30 million in grant funding through a relaunched Biomedical Catalyst.

The relaunch follows the BIA’s consistent campaigning for the funding competition, which is proven to leverage over £4 of private investment for every £1 of public money invested. 

Steve Bates OBE, Chief Executive of the BioIndustry Association said: “I’m delighted that UK SMEs can now apply for a share of up to £30 million to develop innovative solutions to health and care challenges.

“The Biomedical Catalyst has provided entrepreneurs and SMEs access to crucial capital to grow and scale, and its light bureaucracy approach means innovators can focus on business development, not red tape.

“COVID-19 has thrown the importance of a vibrant and strong UK life sciences sector into sharp focus. The Biomedical Catalyst is a key part of the Government’s efforts to ensure the UK is resilient to future threats to public health, as well as supporting the development of new life-changing medical treatments, diagnostics and devices, and building an innovation-led economy for our future prosperity.” 

The Biomedical Catalyst has been a leading campaign focus of the BIA for over a decade and since its launch in 2012 has been used by many BIA member companies to build world-leading British life science companies.

A recent report from Ipsos Mori showed that companies in receipt of Biomedical Catalyst grants increased their R&D investment by 93%, which will help the Government reach its target of raising UK R&D investment to at least 2.4% of GDP by 2027.

Key findings from the Ipsos Mori report included:

  • The programme generates £4.72 in public and business value for every £1 invested by the Government.
  • Companies in receipt of BMC grants increased their R&D investment by 93%, which will help the Government reach its target of raising UK R&D investment to at least 2.4% of GDP by 2027.
  • Grants increased employment in companies by 11-15% over three-five years, equivalent to creation of up to 330 jobs.
  • The 150 companies funded by the BMC raised as much as £710m in additional VC after receiving the grant. This suggests the grants leveraged £3.99 to £5.09 private investment per £1 of public grant.


Notes to Editors 

  1. For further information, please contact Shannon Quinney, Communications Executive at the BIA on 07864 902930 or squinney@bioindustry.org.
  2. Details on how to apply and eligibility can be found here. The competition closes at 11am Wednesday 07 October 2020.
  3. More details on the BIA's campaign for refilling the Biomedical Catalyst can be found here.
  4. The UK Life Sciences sector generates an annual turnover of £73.8 billion for the UK economy, supports 482,000 jobs, two-thirds of which are outside London and the South East. There are 5,870 companies in the sector, 80% of which are SMEs. https://www.gov.uk/government/statistics/bioscience-and-health-technology-sector-statistics-2018
  5. The Biomedical Catalyst is a competitive grant funding programme run by Innovate UK and the Medical Research Council. An Ipsos MORI analysis of its positive impact can be found here: https://www.gov.uk/government/publications/biomedical-catalyst-impact-evaluation


About the BIA 

Established over 25 years ago at the infancy of biotechnology, the BioIndustry Association (BIA) is the trade association for innovative life sciences in the UK. Our goal is to secure the UK's position as a global hub and as the best location for innovative research and commercialisation, enabling our world-leading research base to deliver healthcare solutions that can truly make a difference to people's lives.