CEO Update - 5 February 2024
BIA Board member Ros Deegan appointed to PM’s Business Council
Fantastic news that new BIA Board member Ros Deegan, CEO of OMass Therapeutics has been appointed by the Prime Minister to serve on his prestigious Business Council alongside some of the biggest names from across UK business. The council will have a regular meeting with the Prime Minister in Downing Street to share intelligence to help boost the UK economy and create jobs. The first meeting will take place this month.
Ros said: “Given healthcare and scientific innovation is so strong and important to the United Kingdom, I am excited to accept this invitation and look forward to working with the Government and contributing to discussions around our scale-up economy.” It’s great to see the voice of UK life science SMEs given a seat at this top table and we look forward to supporting Ros in this new role.
Life sciences central to Labour’s business agenda – new sector plan published
The Labour Party used the occasion of its Business Conference 2024 at the Oval last week to publish “A Prescription for Growth, Labour’s Plan for the Life Science Sector”. This is a MUST READ DOCUMENT for our sector as it outlines the opposition's core approach to our sector.
The BIA organised a visit to Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst as a curtain raiser for the document last Tuesday and it was great to see Shadow Secretary of State for Health and Social Care Wes Streeting and Shadow Secretary of State for Science, Innovation and Technology Peter Kyle spending time to understand what makes our sector so exciting.
What is really pleasing with the document for our sector is the degree of stability of policy and the willingness of the Labour Party to build on what has worked in policy terms in recent years. Also welcome is the togetherness of the Labour front bench on this – it was remarkable to see that Keir Starmer, Rachel Reeves, Wes Streeting, Peter Kyle and Jonny Reynolds were all vocal and supportive of a document that they had all had a part in developing.
We will provide a full briefing to members of what is in this and other key Labour policy documents over the weeks ahead – with additional insight but the key message is that Labour has listened to business, developed a sensible and coherent platform and made life sciences a key pillar of their central growth plan for the economy.
My judgement is that this is the key Labour policy in our area that we should focus on between now and the election, and I am sure it will be avidly read by civil servants ahead of contract talks that happen before a General Election campaign.
I had the honour of meeting Professor Phillipe Tibi, Chair of the Tibi Initiative, in person at the French Ambassador’s residence in Kensington last week.
It was fascinating to see that the motivations underlying the work he has done for President Macron (to get French investment into scale-up productive finance) match those we have in the scale-up capital work we're doing in London.
Whilst the precise French policy recipe may only work in a Parisian context, I am sure there is a UK version of the same product is vital, and we are hard at work in the kitchen to blend the finest of UK pension money managers with the best of UK life science companies and money managers. More in the weeks ahead.
BIA recognized for public affairs excellence
More good news last week as we won the PRCA-PoliMonitor Public Affairs Awards for the Best In-house Campaign of the Year – beating many far larger and better-funded organisations to the trophy.
Many congratulations to the team of staff, committee leaders and members who have led the line on ensuring that the disastrous UK cuts to R&D tax credits imposed in Autumn 2022 for innovative SME companies were dispatched quickly in 2023.
New Global Challenge
Global end-to-end partnering platform Inpart is shifting the focus of its Global Challenge programme to mobilise industry and academia around the commercialisation of new research working towards sustainably feeding growing global populations. The campaign will launch in March 2024.
Inpart is currently looking to recruit industry partners of choice who will inform the scope of the campaign. By joining, you’ll have the opportunity to have your team/company’s R&D requirements relating to agritech and sustainable food production define the narrative of the campaign, sourcing new research, experts, assets and potential partners for your R&D programmes.
Your involvement in the campaign would be completely free of charge. By bringing onboard industry partners it allows Inpart to provide a clear pathway for new research in development across its academic network (currently 2,600+ universities and institutes worldwide). Please contact [email protected] or complete this short typefrom to register your interest. Previous partners have included Sanofi, PepsiCo, MSD, Dow, Eastman Chemical, and Mitsubishi Pharma, who we’ve worked with to move the dial on plastic pollution, water pollution, rare diseases and Covid-19.
Steve Bates OBE
CEO, BioIndustry Association