‘The North West should get life sciences investment’

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GOVERNMENT backing for new life science companies should be focused on four areas of the country including Manchester and Liverpool, according to a new report.

The report found that around three quarters of investment into new start-ups in this sector was made into companies within 70 miles of the capital when more than half of the country’s research strength in life sciences is found beyond that area.

Between 2005 and 2009, 31 of the 315 life sciences companies established in the UK were set up in the North West.

Report author Dr Glenn Crocker, chief executive of Nottingham-based bioscience support service BioCity, said: “There is no getting away from the fact that this country needs to invest if it wants a successful bioscience industry, but historically the jam has been spread too thinly.

“It’s not simply about how many start ups are created; it’s about how well university research is turned into business opportunities and the start in life that the companies achieve.

“By focusing greater effort on technology transfer and providing a powerful spinout structure for our seedling ventures we are likely to nurture more, successful firms.”

Dr Crocker said that with public spending under threat, what survived should be concentrated on four ‘hot spot’ regions – Edinburgh and Glasgow; Leeds, Sheffield and Nottingham; Manchester and Liverpool and London, Oxford and Cambridge.

The report was published this morning by BioCity Nottingham and Mobius Life Sciences Fund.

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