BIA launches Comprehensive Spending Review priorities to turn UK into a life sciences superpower

The BioIndustry Association (BIA) has today launched its recommendations for the Comprehensive Spending Review, the report ‘Becoming a life sciences superpower’, explains the policies that the Government can implement to turbo charge growth in the innovative UK biotech and life sciences sector.

The report lists four key priorities:

  • Commit to a long-term funding plan for the Biomedical Catalyst competition, increasing its annual budget to £100 million per year for the length of the Spending Review.
  • Ensure the British Business Bank has the resources it needs to address the scale-up challenge and deliver cross-government support for the Life Sciences Scale-Up Taskforce.
  • Increase the budget of Innovate UK to continue to fund projects for the life sciences sector, supporting SMEs to establish long-term biotech research and manufacturing capabilities in the UK.
  • Expand R&D tax incentives to cover data, cloud computing and capital expenditure to ensure the regime is internationally competitive and anchor long-term R&D activity in the UK.

Steve Bates OBE, Chief Executive of the BIA, said: “As we emerge from the pandemic, this Comprehensive Spending Review is the key moment for the Government to deliver on its promise to make the UK a life sciences superpower.  Increased investment is required to take advantage of the accelerated innovation we have seen in the UK biotech and life sciences sector over the last year and a half.

“Committing to a long-term budget for Innovate UK and the Biomedical Catalyst will secure vital funding for the UK’s pipeline of entrepreneurial SME’s to scale and grow, which will aid the economic recovery and bring future therapies more quickly to patients. The Life Sciences Vision recommendation of a Life Sciences Scale up Taskforce will only be meaningful if the British Business Bank has the necessary resources to address the challenge of the lack of UK institutional investment into the life sciences sector.”

Anthony Browne, MP for South Cambridgeshire, said: “It is now beyond debate that the UK life science sector has saved millions of lives in the worst crisis in our lifetimes.  The industry not only developed and produced a host of vaccines, but also a range of treatments reducing the fatality rate.

“The UK biotech and life sciences sector will be a key part of future health and economic prosperity for decades to come. We must use the Comprehensive Spending Review to grasp this opportunity and deliver better health and wealth outcomes for us all.”


  1. For further information please contact Jack Fellows, Strategic Communications and Media Manager at the BIA, [email protected]
  2. To read the latest investment data for the UK life sciences sector, please follow this link.