Barbara at BIVDA: One Year In

Now that we have moved into August, it means that I’ve moved into my second year at BIVDA; I can’t quite believe that 12 months have passed so quickly! After many years in industry, my role at BIVDA has been a significant change, presenting a number of new challenges and opportunities that have made the months fly by. Working here has given me a number of new insights, and a real appreciation of the work that goes on ‘behind the scenes’ day-to-day, week-on-week within the BIVDA offices. As such, my first BIVDA anniversary provides the perfect opportunity for me to explain briefly what it is I’ve been doing since this time last year.

My position sees me deal with both internal and external issues. Internally, there has been a great deal of change since I joined BIVDA. A primary focus has been to relaunch and reinvigorate the working parties, as well as creating two new ones – Digital Pathology and the Export Interest Group. We’ve seen the election of new chairs and a pleasing engagement of BIVDA members with these groups (although there’s always room for more). Additionally, we’ve brought in over 20 new full members, plus 5 associate members and it’s been good to see them getting involved with us here at Devonshire House. It’s also been very important for me to meet with existing members, finding out more about their companies and the issues they face within our industry. Anyone who knows me knows that I love asking questions so that’s one of the most enjoyable parts of my role here.

My work externally has focused on expanding our horizons, and has proven to be an interesting complement to my inward-facing duties. I’m excited to be an expert panelist for the Longitude Prize, which is looking for an innovative in vitro diagnostic test to help tackle the ever-growing problem of antibiotic resistance. I’ve been involved in several governmental initiatives, including the Accelerated Access Review, Jim O’Neill’s Review on Antimicrobial Resistance, a joint industry/Government AMR working group, and UKTI sector panel meetings, which have outlined that IVD sector is a high priority for export growth. I’ve also been working with other trade associations, primarily as part of the MedTech Forum on credentialing, and meeting with the devolved nations through MediWales.

From a broader perspective, it’s been an enlightening time. In July, I was in the House of Commons for the extremely well-attended launch of the new APPG for Life Sciences, having not even known what an APPG was this time last year! Twelve months ago I also didn’t know what DEC, MMTSG, DAP, SBRI, CSR etc. stood for, and yet I now find myself using these and numerous other acronyms on an almost daily basis. Just a small insight into the new experiences that this role has presented.

I’m very excited about the opportunities to come, whilst remaining wary of some the issues that exist, such as credentialing and, as always, procurement and regulation. I endeavour to continue to engage with as many members as possible, as does Doris-Ann, so that we’re able to convey fully the industry perspective and messages. What is clear to me one year in is that, from a member perspective, getting involved in BIVDA is wholly worthwhile. I encourage all of you to engage with us as much as possible; the working parties provide an excellent opportunity to keep up to date with industry issues and to network with colleagues, whilst senior directors, country managers and CEOs should definitely put themselves up for election to the executive team – the call for nominations will be going out in October!

With one year at BIVDA in the history books, I look forward to the next 12 months, and hope that they are as interesting as the last. I’ve really enjoyed meeting and working with a number of members, and hope that I can work with even more of you in the future.



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