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The BioIndustry Association UK names new CEO

The former Labour adviser and media officer Steve Bates becomes the new voice of the sector.

The UK BioIndustry Association (BIA) has appointed Steve Bates as its new CEO, effective 2 July.

During his time as senior director of external affairs and market access at Genzyme UK and Ireland, Bates worked on the establishment of the Office for Life Science. He was also a member of the association's communications advisory committee.

Prior to joining the industry, Bates was special adviser to John Reid MP, during his time as home secretary, secretary of state for health, Northern Ireland secretary and defence secretary, and helped deliver policy initiatives as diverse as a push for genetics work in the NHS in 2003 to the implementation of the Serious Organised Crime Act of 2005.

Earlier in his career, Bates led the Labour Party media team into the general election of 2001 and was formerly a broadcast business journalist at Dow Jones and ITN.

Tim Edwards, chairman of the BIA, said:

We are delighted that Steve is joining the BIA. I am certain that his experience in the bioscience sector and within government will prove to be invaluable. Steve will work with BIA members to engage government on our policy initiatives, such as the Citizens Innovation Fund, and to ensure that the Coalition government delivers on the Strategy for UK Life Sciences.

I would also like to express the BIA’s gratitude to Glyn Edwards for his contribution to the BIA as interim chief executive.

Bates said:

UK bioscience is at the heart of the new global economy. The sector’s talented and visionary researchers, developers and executives are producing the treatments and innovations to help patients in the future. The sector is also providing highly skilled jobs and growth for the UK. That is why I am so excited to have this opportunity to lead the UK's trade association for bioscience companies.

Having worked both in government and biotech I know how to be an effective voice for the sector and look forward to working in partnership with government, academia and the health service to enable bioscience companies in the UK to succeed.