11 September 2012 -- The BioIndustry Association (BIA) welcomes the announcement today by Vince Cable, Secretary of State for Business, Innovation and Skills, of an industrial strategy. However, the BIA believes government can go further by introducing Citizens' Innovation Funds to support its industrial strategy by allowing the general public to invest in UK innovation. This scheme could raise £300 million per year to provide an additional source of much needed funding for innovative companies in the UK.
Commenting on the speech Steve Bates, BIA Chief Executive Officer, said:
"Innovative life science companies in the UK welcome the coalition government's focus on the sector and the Business Secretary is right to identify the need for new forms of capital for high growth potential firms.
"Crowdsourcing finance initiatives should be introduced alongside new banks. The BIA believes that Citizens' Innovations Funds (CIFs) would unlock the patriotic potential of British savers to support innovative new businesses. The introduction of CIFs would not only diversify the supply of finance but also help provide the long-term capital that innovative, high growth firms need.
"UK biotech companies are now rapidly progressing early stage projects thanks to the first Biomedical Catalyst feasibility awards announced in the summer. These awards demonstrate the UK government's commitment to early stage life science companies. But we need to join the dots and ensure companies can access the capital needed to further develop these projects into products in the UK. CIFs would help achieve this.
"We also welcome the announcement that the Technology Strategy Board will establish an Innovation and Knowledge Centre in Synthetic Biology and will encourage UK companies to apply for funding from the £6.5 million competition for synthetic biology, launching next month."
For further information, please contact Robert Winder, Head of Communications, firstname.lastname@example.org, 020 7630 2191; mobile 07825 942 934.
Citizens' Innovation Funds - Engaging the public with UK innovation
The report is available from the BIA website: http://bit.ly/BIAcifreport
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