BioWednesday - The Effectiveness of Government R&D Incentives for Creating Health and Wealth - Key Takeaways

Guest blog by Dave Mead, Director of Business Development, Isogenica Limited

I recently joined One Nucleus ’ BioWednesday panel to debate whether using Government R&D incentives are worth it. 

So, are they? 

As a growing biotech company, Isogenica Limited has experience in accessing grant opportunities and other R&D incentives. Yet, for many start-ups, it can be a steep learning curve to work out what’s available and the best use of precious time and resources. 

Alongside panellists from Octane OC and EY, I collated the following useful pointers to help others make the most of Government incentives for research:  

Grant opportunities often have an awareness problem. Despite there being plenty of grants and incentives out there, it can take time to build up awareness of what’s available AND relevant to your business. Be prepared to do some digging and if you see something interesting being offered within another sector, the chances are something similar is available in yours. Look for signposting from great life science support organisations such as Medilink MidlandsBioPartner UK, OBN (UK) Ltd and One Nucleus.

Do you have the available cash flow? Many grants use a ‘claim back’ model and others require your business to provide matched funding. This means you already need to have cash in the bank to take advantage of them, which can be a major barrier for new or smaller companies.   

Remember that support is more than just money. While we tend to think of cash whenever we talk about grant opportunities, but in reality, the support on offer from funding bodies should be much broader than that. Can you prioritise opportunities that give you access to tailored solutions around manufacturing, IP or regulatory issues you’re facing? If a grant or an incentive gives you access to business and development advice, that can be just as valuable as financial support. 

How can you benefit from the cluster effect? Whether Government-related or not, being part of, or near to, a cluster of companies in your sector is known to bring many benefits. Whether you get involved in an incubator, campus or hub, be open to getting to know your neighbours.  

Don’t miss out on sector-specific support and networking. Being part of membership organisations and forums (such as One Nucleus!) are some of the best ways to meet and make connections with like-minded people that might become company partners in the future. They hold sector specific knowledge and expertise that Government-led opportunities can sometimes lack. If you’re not part of a network yet, put it high on your to-do list. 

Thank you to One Nucleus for inviting me. It was great to represent a biotech company’s point of view and share the realities, benefits and drawbacks of what it’s like to access R&D funding.

You can listen to the discussion here:
Learn more about Isogenica’s next-generation VHH antibody technology on our website:  

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