BIA explore options for working with EU post-Brexit

Published: 30-Mar-2017

The UK BioIndustry Association will send a delegation to Switzerland, to learn from their outside-of-EU system

The UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) is leading a UK delegation from the biotech sector on a discovery trip to see how Switzerland works with Europe but outside of the European Union, to forge new relationships and explore potential opportunities.

Switzerland has a very different political system to the UK with a lot of decentralised power across the 26 cantons, which have some autonomy regarding issues that have an impact on the industry, such as regulation and taxes.

Learning about such a different way of operating offers potential lessons that the UK could explore in the future.

BIA CEO, Steve Bates, said: “The UK and Switzerland make up a significant proportion of Life Sciences activity in the EU and there are many unexplored opportunities for collaboration and mutual learning.”

“Exploring the sector in Switzerland will help the UK to learn lessons that could help support the Brexit negotiations process throughout the next two years.”

Ted Fjallman is Executive Director of Tekiu, a knowledge transfer, VIP technical visits, policy engagement, workshop facilitation and science communication company.

He said: “Often, all the representatives would only meet once or twice a year. This visit will allow them to experience things together.”

The delegation will look at the range of tax incentives there are to encourage growth and build an understanding of how important the low tax environment has been for biotech investment in Switzerland.

Representatives for the UK will also meet a cross section of Swiss companies from SME’s such as Zurich based NeurImmune, to larger organisations Biogen, Shire and Novartis.

Together they will meet experts from regulatory affairs, strategy and innovation.

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