30 January 2013 -- The British public wants the opportunity to crowdfund innovative British companies.
That is the message from a YouGov survey commissioned by the BioIndustry Association (BIA) which shows that nearly nine out of 10 UK adults who expressed a preference agree that the general public should be provided with the opportunity to invest modest sums of money, if they wish to, into funds that will be targeted towards innovative companies.
Additionally, the same number of UK adults who expressed a preference agrees that the government should consider new funding policies that support innovative companies in the UK where bank lending is not an option.
These results demonstrate that the British public supports the introduction of new investment opportunities like the BIA's Citizens' Innovation Funds (CIFs) proposal. The BIA outlines its CIFs proposal in a new report published today.
Steve Bates, BIA Chief Executive Officer, said:
"The British public would like the opportunity to invest in innovative British companies. The BIA believes that Citizens' Innovation Funds would unlock the patriotic potential of the British public to support innovative businesses. These businesses are the key to jobs and growth for the economy of the future.
Tomorrow senior executives from BIA member companies will meet with ministers, including David Gauke MP, Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, and shadow ministers during our 13th annual Parliament Day to discuss key topics relevant to the bioscience sector including CIFs. The BIA will also be meeting with Treasury officials during the next few weeks to provide them further details of the proposal.
Welcoming the CEOs to London, The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said:
"London is well positioned to maintain its status as a world leading biotechnology centre, with the industry supporting thousands of highly skilled jobs and pioneering innovative new bioscience advancements. This funding proposal is an interesting new way to help generate crucial investment in this sector, and I urge all participants in this weeks' Parliament Day event to have a close look at the idea."
The CIFs would be a tax-advantaged investment scheme for the general public and the concept is based on the hugely successful French FCPI scheme which has raised more than €6 billion since its inception, leveraging more than five times the investment compared to the cost of the scheme.
Steve Bates, BIA Chief Executive Officer, added:
"We believe that for the life sciences sector CIFs complement existing government actions, such as the Biomedical Catalyst, and will help ensure that equity-backed companies are not left behind.
"We are also pleased to have brought together a coalition of supporters for the CIFs proposals from organisations such as the Confederation for British Industry, TIGA and the Association of British Healthcare Industries. This coalition recognises the value that CIFs could present to small- and medium-sized companies across the spectrum of innovation."
This week's Investors Chronicle cover story 'Biotech is Back' shows the potential of the sector in 2013.
For further information, please contact Robert Winder, Head of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, 020 7630 2191; mobile 07825 942 934.
Citizens' Innovation Funds
The BIA's new report on Citizens Innovation Funds is available from the BIA website: http://bit.ly/biacifreport2
All figures, unless otherwise stated, are from YouGov Plc. Total sample size was 2214 adults. Fieldwork was undertaken between 21-23 November 2012. The survey was carried out online. The figures have been weighted and are representative of all UK adults (aged 18 +).
The survey results are available from YouGov: http://y-g.co/UhmFGo
Investors Chronicle article
'Biotech is Back': http://bit.ly/YDEQtc
Founded over 20 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. For further information, please go to www.bioindustry.org