21 February 2013 -- Ahead of the Chancellor of the Exchequer's 2013 Budget in March the BioIndustry Association (BIA) has called on Government to unlock sustainable private financing for innovative companies by introducing Citizens' Innovation Funds (CIFs).
In its Budget submission the BIA also urges the Chancellor to work towards a similarly funded second phase of the successful Biomedical Catalyst to ensure investor and sector company confidence in the government's commitment to bioscience.
The Budget provides the Government with the perfect chance to introduce measures to stimulate investment and growth in those knowledge-driven innovative companies key to the future of the UK economy, such as in the bioscience sector.
Steve Bates, BIA Chief Executive Officer, said:
"The government has a real opportunity to underpin for the long term a lot of the good work it has done for the bioscience sector by introducing Citizens' Innovation Funds to enable a sustainable source of private finance for innovative companies in the UK.
"Citizens' Innovation Funds would truly unlock the patriotic potential of investors allowing mid-net worth individuals, really for the first time, the chance to support innovation and the products and technologies of the future.
"Taken alongside a further commitment to the Biomedical Catalyst fund, the government would be intervening in a smart way linking together complimentary sources of private and public funding to drive future UK growth."
CIFs, based on a hugely successful French model that has raised over €6.5 billion to support innovation to date, provide a workable and practical model to allow the British public to support the products and technologies we all stand to benefit from. The French model has been notable for the large amounts of capital it has crowdfunded from large numbers of individual investors each contributing relatively modest sums of money.
Recent independent polling has shown that nearly nine out of ten 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.
For further information, please contact Robert Winder, Head of Communications, email@example.com, 020 7630 2191; mobile 07825 942 934.
BIA Budget submission
The BIA's 2013 Budget submission is available from the BIA website: http://bit.ly/BIAbudget2013
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
The Biomedical Catalyst is a £180 million three year grant funding scheme, launched in April 2012, that is supporting innovative medical research in the UK and has already demonstrably leveraged significant additional private finance.
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