For the Love of the North
Helping to champion the UK’s life sciences sector, a collaboration between GE and Alderley Park is offering SMEs and start-ups in Northern England the chance to access much-needed facilities and resources
Maryam Mahdi | | Quick Read
For SMEs and start-ups, getting their feet off the ground can be an uphill battle and a lack of access to financing and resources can make it difficult for them to realize success. GE Healthcare hopes to support young companies via a new open access lab at Alderley Park’s Mereside Campus in Cheshire, granting access to advanced protein and cell analysis technologies (including ÄKTA systems for protein purification, Biacore 8K for drug discovery, and IN Cell Analyzer 6500HS for cellular imaging), as well as GE’s onsite and online training.
“Start-ups and emerging biotechnology companies have a critical role to play in pharma,” said Conor McKechnie, Chief Marketing Officer at GE Healthcare Life Sciences. “They have a reputation for transcending organizational boundaries, which is something larger companies can learn from.”
McKechnie went on to explain that the partnership with Alderley Park aimed to not only support SMEs and start-ups in gaining access to valuable technologies, but also, on a more broad scale, to identify the challenges SMEs face and opportunities to collaborate on solutions that will benefit the UK’s life sciences community as a whole. Northern England is one of the top five locations for R&D in the UK (with a 42 percent increase in investment in biotechnology companies since 2016), but much of the scientific community remains fixed on the south in locations such as Oxford, Cambridge and London.
“Given the regional growth of the industry, Alderley Park is a great strategic location for this lab,” McKechnie commented. “But we are also committed to the UK biotech start-up community outside of the North through our open access lab at the Stevenage BioScience Catalyst (SBC) in Hertfordshire, and online through our collaboration with the equipment sharing marketplace, Clustermarket.”
To date, 28 companies have expressed interest in using the lab space.
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