£30 million Biomedical Catalyst to launch following successful BIA campaign

Innovative biotech companies will be able to access a share of £30 million in grant funding through a relaunched Biomedical Catalyst, Innovate UK’s CEO Ian Campbell confirmed today. 

The announcement, made on a BIA webinar, 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 Innovate UK has announced new funding for a tried and tested success story of British industrial policy.

“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.

BIA member companies who have received funding from the Biomedical Catalyst have welcomed today’s news:

Dr Sarah Howell, CEO of Arecor said: “The Biomedical Catalyst has been fundamental in providing a secure framework to grow our business. We have made great progress supported by the funding from the Biomedical Catalyst and continued to grow our business.  In the past year we have secured further commercial collaborations with both large pharma and biotech companies to provide new innovative formulations for our partners.  We have also been able to successfully complete our first Phase 1 clinical study in diabetes, our first clinical programme from our proprietary portfolio.”

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 Jack Fellows, Communications and Media Relations Manager at the BIA on 07825942934 or [email protected]
  2. More details on the BIA's campaign for refilling the Biomedical Catalyst can be found here.
  3. The competition is due to open 27 July 2020, more information will be provided in due course. 
  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
  6. For more information on Arecor, please follow this link.


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.