With this in mind the UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) is leading a delegation to see if it can garner any useful clues to its own future from the country. This is very much a’ discovery trip’ to better understand how Switzerland works with Europe but outside of the European Union, and also to forge new relationships and explore potential opportunities.
Chief executive of the BIA, 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. At this time of Brexit, it’s important that the UK takes a positive outlook towards the future of the sector in the UK and how we will continue to work with Europe.
The BIA says the sector in Switzerland will help it learn lessons that could help support the negotiations process over the next two years.
The delegation will explore some key issues for the sector, including Switzerland’s tax incentives and their impact on biotech investment in Switzerland.
They will also visit the tech transfer office at ETH University in Zurich where they will learn different perspectives on how the support for commercialisation of research from representatives of Swiss academia and industry.
UK representatives will meet a cross section of Swiss companies from SME’s such as Zurich-based NeurImmune, to larger organisations Biogen, Shire and Novartis – where they will meet experts from regulatory affairs, strategy and innovation and venture funding on a tour of the Novartis campus in Basel.
The BIA says it has already established links with Canada to explore closer working. However any formal bilateral trade deals with non-EU countries cannot be agreed by the UK until the UK until it has reached a deal with the EU.
Posted on Thursday May 4