CEO Update - 15 May 2023
Join the #BIGIMPACT revolution
Today we launched the #BIGIMPACT campaign to encourage next-generation digital talent to start a career in the biotech industry. The campaign addresses an urgent need for data, machine learning and AI skills and shines a spotlight on new career pathways that are possible in biotech.
The campaign website - bigimpact.org.uk - features some of the most exciting job opportunities in the sector enabling the bio curious to discover new key roles in some of the most innovative life sciences and biotech companies led by entrepreneurs who are not yet household names. Use this resource to discover some of the best and hidden roles out there, with stock options and a big impact, in companies you’ve never heard of. You will be amazed at the difference you can make with your hard-earned skills. We’ve seen the impact digital skills made during the pandemic. BIA Members can access the media pack to get involved and support the campaign.
Life Science Council
The key sectorial meeting between the UK government and the life science industry is a little over a week away. It will be a great opportunity to share progress on the scale-up capital agenda. I’m also looking forward to hearing about the Lord James O'Shaughnessy review on clinical trials and I’m excited to be part of Roland Sinker’s advisory group on innovation in the NHS, watch out for more on this next week.
The All-Party Parliamentary Group (APPG) on life sciences is meeting this week. The expected turnout from parliamentarians of all colours looks strong. It seems interest in the voluntary pricing and access scheme remains high. This will be a good opportunity to share issues.
A bonfire of the bonfire of EU rules
Last week, the government U-turn on getting rid of all of the EU retained law by the end of the year. This is a welcome move. However, we remain of the view that some of the unhelpful legislation that could have been removed isn’t now being removed. Much of this relates to our old favourite, the unworkable Nagoya protocol so we will be writing to the government on this.
Great event in Aberdeen
It was marvellous to meet with the vibrant community of life scientists in Aberdeen at our regional focus event last week. The new BioHub is impressive as are the companies making Aberdeen Scotland's latest life science powerhouse. Congratulations to Deborah O’Neil and the team on what they have achieved. I’m sure we’ll see and hear lots more from Aberdeen in the coming months.
An end to Covid?
Last week saw the downgrading by the WHO of COVID-19 from being a global health emergency as hospitalisations and deaths continue to decline. Focus on returning to normality is now central. I remain concerned that we have not learned the lessons from the pandemic and are not set up right to minimise future ones. A timely discussion in Oxford this week will hopefully galvanise our ecosystem for the next stage.
Congratulation to the new FRS
Many congratulations to four members of our community who were made Fellows of the Royal Society last week. It’s great to see Dame Sarah Gilbert DBE FMedSci FRS (Said Professor of Vaccinology, Pandemic Sciences Institute, University of Oxford), Dame Kate Bingham FRS (Managing Partner, SV Health Investors), Ms Fiona Fox FRS (CEO, Science Media Centre) and Professor Andrew Hopkins FRS (Chief Executive, Exscientia plc) formally recognised.
Getting set for BIO
The annual BIO convention in the USA is only weeks away. The plan for the UK’s contribution to this global event is set and I’m looking forward to sharing my understanding of them with you at a webinar next week. I hope you can join me there.
Steve Bates OBE
CEO, BioIndustry Association