Why a Midlands Life-Science Cluster is vital in growing the UK economy and tackling health inequalities

Professor Gino Martini, CEO – PHTA Ltd

I always remember David Cameron – at a CBI speech in 2010 – state that “it’s astonishing to think that between 1980-2005, nearly all net job creation in the United States occurred in firms less than five years old.”  Imagine it was not Ford, General Motors, General Electric or Johnson & Johnson that were growing, but new companies such as Apple, Google, Facebook and Amazon to name but a few.

We forget, don’t we, that successful small companies can grow to larger successful companies and these small-to-medium enterprises (SMEs) are the lifeblood of the UK economy.  We also forget, or perhaps we do not know, that in 2021 that 6 million SMEs employed 16 million people in the UK and generated £2.2 trillion in turnover.

Hence you can see my enthusiasm for the Birmingham Health Innovation Campus (BHIC) which is being developed in partnership between the University of Birmingham and Bruntwood SciTech – a 10 acre site totally devoted to healthcare research, making it one of the largest in the UK.  The campus will create more than 13,000 jobs and contribute over £580 million GVA to the region and nationally.

The Precision Health Technologies Accelerator (PHTA) will play a vital role in BHIC by providing collaborative space and laboratories for entrepreneurs and for the region’s academics and clinicians to work hand in glove with business.

Co-locating great minds in great spaces combined with nurturing environments will catalyse creativity and drive innovation.

As the CEO of the PHTA I am committed to make the PHTA an ‘anchor site’ to tackle health inequalities by not only providing new, highly-paid jobs, but also opportunities to develop the skills and undertake the training required to access those jobs.   The PHTA will also ensure that clinical science is accessible to all members of society and from all ethnic groups – we need to make sure that we develop the right treatments, at the right dose, at the right time and for the RIGHT PATIENT!

As I finish this piece, I feel humbled to have taken on this opportunity to help drive the life sciences agenda for the UK in the Midlands.  I know many think of the Midlands as an automotive manufacturing hub but in truth, the region has a long established track record in medicines development driven by its Universities and Hospitals.

To find out more about Birmingham Health Innovation Campus visit:

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Watch the PHTA launch video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=br61oOWw0wM