The UK Life Sciences industry is thriving again

The UK Life Sciences industry is thriving again

When we think of this industry sector, most of us would highlight the ‘golden triangle’ of Oxford, Cambridge and London, and justly so, with its impressive cluster of biotech companies and academic institutes. More recently this has been bolstered by of a number of government investments in the sector such as MedCity in London.

But that’s certainly not the full picture. The most successful biotech companies do well because of their access to a thriving community of scientists, NHS Research Hospitals, entrepreneurs and investors. In this regard, Birmingham is one of the most important sites for Life Sciences in the UK.  Birmingham has the highest density of medical and life science activity in the UK – including Birmingham Medical School, the Queen Elizabeth Hospital, Birmingham Women’s Hospital, and numerous research institutes. 22,000 people in Birmingham are employed in the Life Sciences sector and there are more than 180 biomedical companies in the city and 550 in the West Midlands, more than any other UK region.  Birmingham also has the largest clinical trials base in Europe outside Oxford.

The development of a thriving life sciences sector is at the heart of long-term economic plans for the city and region. The Greater Birmingham & Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership (GBSLEP) launched a new Life Sciences Commission in March 2015 to create a roadmap to achieve a world-class environment and industry offer to attract life sciences to the city of Birmingham and wider region.

At the University of Birmingham, our Life Sciences heritage is characterised by strong partnerships that link academic excellence with innovation in addressing the healthcare requirements of a diverse regional population. We deliver the full circle of translational medicine, ‘from bench to bedside’, addressing major global health problems including ageing, chronic and rare diseases, cancer, trauma and antibiotic resistance.

Our world-leading research is supported by state-of-the-art clinical facilities and pioneering partnerships between academics and clinicians such as the Birmingham Health Partners. The Institute of Translational Medicine helps progress the very latest scientific research findings from the University into enhanced treatments for patients; we have space to incubate and innovate at the BioHub based on Birmingham Research Park, and a planned 30 acre Battery Park site for businesses to expand into. Our region truly has an unrivalled capacity and capability in Life Sciences.

By embracing collaborative opportunities with industry and other key stakeholders, we aim to make Birmingham the best place to invest in Life Sciences research.

An impressive array of speakers will be discussing  Birmingham’s ‘Life Sciences Campus’ and the opportunities for business at the University’s annual Business with Birmingham conference on 6th October 2016.

Register for Business with Birmingham 2016

If you are interested in exploring opportunities for collaboration email

Professor Hisham Mehanna is Director of Industry Partnerships and Business Engagement, in the College of Medical and Dental Sciences, as well as Director of The Institute of Head and Neck Studies and Education at the University of Birmingham