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BioCity UK Life Science Start-Up Report reveals a ‘baby boom’ of new life science ventures driven by unprecedented levels of investment; and predict a proliferation of life science workspace

Nottingham, UK. Tuesday, 19 November 2019 – BioCity, the pioneering life science incubator and business collective today releases its biennial publication, the UK Life Science Start-Up Report, an in-depth analysis of emerging businesses within the life sciences across the UK.

The report has collected, analysed and interpreted data for nearly a decade and a half; and is a key publication for the life science industry.

Authored by BioCity Chairman and former CEO, Dr Glenn Crocker MBE, the report looks at the prevalence of life science start-ups in the UK over the past five years and the broader landscape in which they operate to also asses the quality of UK life science start-ups. By analysing the number of start-ups by region, area of scientific focus, funding, investment and university association, the report creates a broad picture of the current health and future of, the industry.

The report documents an unprecedented period of growth for the life sciences, thanks in part to a change in the funding landscape, expressed in a four-fold increase to £2.8B of investment in early-stage ventures, compared to the previous five-year period.

Multiple factors are highlighted as driving this expansion, but of greatest impact was the emergence of a number of significant venture funds able and willing to make very large investments in early stage businesses.

Also identified as a contributing factor is the increasing use of smaller companies and academia as sources of innovation by large pharmaceuticals aiming to counteract falling R&D productivity. The report documents a rise in the number of global players establishing or sponsoring accelerators and incubators and making investments through their corporate venturing arms.

Simultaneously, many universities such as Bristol, Newcastle and Aberdeen introduced a gear change in spin-out formation, while a supportive local public sector reinforced the growth. That these regions have all recently or will soon, open, their first life science incubators, the report posits, is not coincidental.

Dr Glenn Crocker said, “Both the number of companies starting up and the amount invested in them has taken off. We have seen a 50% increase in the number of companies and a four-fold increase in investment going into them; this will likely result in a substantial increase in the demand for space. We estimate that this cohort of businesses alone could require 1.4 million sq ft of specialist facilities over the next five years. One consequence of this demand growth is that real estate investors are being increasingly attracted to the sector.”

The findings of the BioCity UK Life Science Start-Up Report will be discussed in full by Dr Crocker during a key-note speech to an invited audience of industry figures at a launch event at MediCity Nottingham on Tuesday 26 November 2019.

To download a copy of the report, visit   ENDS

To download the BioCity press kit, please click here.

About BioCity
Home to more than 200 companies, BioCity is a pioneering life science incubator and business collective. Where ideas become reality, investment flows and businesses succeed.

Not the typical business incubator, BioCity takes a holistic approach to business support. Offering entrepreneur coaching, investment, flexible lab and office space and PAYG services within a UK-wide business collective.

Founded in 2002 by the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University, BioCity originated in a former BASF Pharma research facility in Nottingham city centre.

In 2012 BioCity acquired the MSD research facility in Newhouse near Glasgow to create Glasgow, BioCity. This was closely followed by a second site in Nottingham, MediCity, which is located on the Boots campus and is a collaboration with Walgreens Boots Alliance. In 2016 the Newhouse site was further expanded to create Glasgow, MediCity. BioCity also operates at Alderley Park, Cheshire, Aberdeen and Newcastle.

The company has made 30 investments in early stage companies and has delivered a healthy growth in portfolio valuation. Funds are deployed from its own cash reserves and from a joint venture vehicle with AstraZeneca which BioCity manages.

In 2017, BioCity was identified as one of Europe’s fastest-growing companies in the Financial Times’ FT 1000 report. The BioCity model of ‘support from inception to incorporation’ initially challenged the industry standard but quickly became the industry leader due to the unprecedented survival rates of BioCity based businesses.

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About Dr Glenn Crocker
Glenn Crocker is Chairman and Chief Investment Officer of BioCity Group. He was the founding CEO of the business until the end of 2018. He has a DPhil in Immunology from Oxford University and qualified as a Chartered Accountant with EY, focusing on working with biotech companies in Palo Alto, California and Cambridge, UK, where he headed up the UK Biotech practice for EY.

At BioCity, he has grown a thriving life science incubation business on the back of a strong commitment to building successful life science companies.

He is a non-executive director of several life science companies and consults on business incubation, start-up creation and cluster growth. He has been directly involved in investing in life science companies through BioCity’s own managed funds since 2006.

In 2014 Glenn received an MBE for services to the biotechnology industry.

Since the start of 2019, Glenn has also been Head of Life Sciences for leading property advisers, JLL.

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Last Updated: 19-Nov-2019