Apply for £500,000 life sciences accelerator

Apply for £500,000 life sciences accelerator

Life Science startups across the North of England only have until 31 January to take advantage of a £500,000 accelerator fund that could transform their businesses.

The North of England Life Science Accelerator (NELSA) will support young life science businesses across the north by providing seed funding for up to 10 early-stage commercialisation projects for a maximum of 12 months.

The funding will enable businesses to carry out proof-of-concept research and eligible firms will also be offered business support such as workshops, coaching and access to mentors.

NELSA has been set-up by a group including science park operator Manchester Science Partnerships, bioscience incubation centre BioCity, investment firms Catapult Ventures and Alderley Park Ventures (APV), university collaboration N8 Research Partnership and the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA), the accelerator will be anchored at Alderley Park's BioHub.

Further, companies will be given access to the facilities and equipment at the internationally-renowned Alderley Park site.

Competition for the accelerator funds is bound to be fierce and to be eligible, startups must work in the fields of life sciences and healthcare, covering areas such as diagnostics, therapeutics, devices and digital.

Helen Philippou, Professor of Translational Medicine at the University of Leeds, says she would recommend the programme: “I completed the BioHub Accelerator programme in Spring 2016.

“Through the customer discovery process and access to amazing support from members of the Expert Network, my understanding of the clinical potential of my product was transformed. The programme provided an invaluable introduction to the commercial environment and the drug development process. I whole heartily recommend it.'

Ned Wakeman, the director of BioCity, which manages Alderley Park's BioHub, said: "BioCity's programmes have already proven highly successful in supporting the creation and growth of successful life science companies.

“Joining forces with great innovation originating from within N8 Research Partnership, combined with clinical access and validation from within NHSA and funding, will help promising life sciences businesses bring great ideas to commercial reality."

Dr Hakim Yadi, chief executive officer of the Northern Health Science Alliance added: "There is a wealth of talent in the North and this fund was set up to help that talent to blossom. The Northern Health Science Alliance brings together the clinical capabilities across eight North city regions, the top eight research universities in the North, eight NHS teaching Trusts and four academic science networks.

“Through this unique access the NHSA has the capacity to support businesses not only through the accelerator but also with access to a healthy, collaborative health science network."