Best practice guide for communicating R&D progress to investors and the public

The UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) has today (Thursday 4 January) launched a new guide to help bioscience companies communicate their R&D clearly and effectively to investors and the public. 

The guide has been launched as the UK sector prepares to attend one of the world’s largest biotech conferences: the 36th annual JP Morgan Healthcare Conference.

The best practice guide has been produced in consultation with the trade association’s membership and the investment community, with the support of Consilium Strategic Communications, Instinctif Partners and Simmons & Simmons.

It presents four best practice principles that both public and private bioscience companies should follow to ensure high-quality communications:

  • Be well prepared
  • Be consistent
  • Be fair, balanced and understandable (clear)
  • Be mindful of the impact on members of the public to whom it is personally relevant


The principles are in addition to the legal and governance rules that companies must follow, and are designed to help bioscience companies also meet sector best practice and to apply their communications to the R&D process in particular.

BIA CEO, Steve Bates, said: “The UK bioscience sector is booming. We attract over one-third of all European venture capital funding and have an active public market that is taking an ever-greater interest in the investment opportunities that our sector has to offer.

“To establish the UK as the third global bioscience cluster we need investors and the public to be well informed and confident about the great science our companies are doing. As the entrepreneurial leaders and investors of the UK sector head across the pond to JP Morgan in San Francisco, we hope this guide helps them communicate the great investment opportunities there are here in Britain.”

Consilium Strategic Communications Partner, Dr Chris Gardner, said: “With bioscience companies expected to play an ever more pivotal role in the UK economy, the need for clear and effective communication has never been greater. Distilling complex ideas in high science companies for multiple audiences can be challenging and individual companies will always have their own objectives, but there are some basic approaches which can help them keep their messages clear and simple. The aim of guide is to provide practical advice which companies can draw upon when thinking about their communications.”

Instinctif Partners Managing Partner, Sue Charles, said: “Whilst the general principles of good communications remain the same, with the increased speed of communications, the broad reach of evolving digital platforms and the changing practices of media outlets, it is critical that companies develop robust communications policies and practices. Clearly demonstrating progress and mapping future milestones helps establish credibility and contributes to value creation.”

Simmons & Simmons Partner, Charles Mayo, said: “The bioscience sector is highlighted as a key sector for UK growth within the Government’s Industrial Strategy. High standards of communications will be integral to that growth. The BIA guide complements legal and governance compliance, gives practical guidance for clear and effective communications.”



Notes to Editors

The guide is an update of previous BIA guides published in 2001 and 2006. The latest version addresses new forms of communication and research practice that have emerged since the previous version. The guide and a library of resources can be found on the BIA website (this link will be live from 0800 GMT on 4 January 2018). New resources will be added to keep the guide relevant and up-to-date.


Ed Sexton, BIA Communications and Media Relations Manager, 0207 630 2196,


About the BIA

Established over 25 years ago at the infancy of biotechnology, the BioIndustry Association (BIA) is the trade association for innovative enterprises involved in UK bioscience. Members include emerging and more established bioscience companies; pharmaceutical companies; academic, research and philanthropic organisations; and service providers to the bioscience sector. The BIA represents the interests of its members to a broad section of stakeholders, from government and regulators to patient groups and the media. 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.

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