£500,000 North of England Life Science Accelerator launches

£500,000 North of England Life Science Accelerator launches

A £500,000 North of England Life Science Accelerator (NELSA) has been launched at the fifth annual BioCap Conference in Cheshire.

The new initiative has been set-up by a group that features the Alderley Park life science campus, which is part of the Manchester Science Partnerships, BioCity, Catapult Ventures, Alderley Park Ventures (APV), N8 Research Partnership, and the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA).

The accelerator will be anchored at Alderley Park and aims to support new and early stage life science businesses in the North.

It is anticipated that seed funding will be provided for up to 10 early stage commercialisation projects for a maximum of 12 months in order to facilitate businesses in carrying out proof-of-concept research.

Eligible businesses will also be provided with additional support to help them achieve rapid growth, such as workshops, coaching and access to highly experienced mentors and industry leaders, as well as full use of the world-class facilities and equipment at Alderley Park.

Ned Wakeman, director of BioCity, which manages the BioHub at Alderley Park, 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 Peter Simpson, director of the N8 Research Partnership said:  "The translation of world-class basic research into new commercial opportunities and businesses is critical for Northern economic growth and resilience. I look forward to the great ideas and innovations from N8 universities being helped by this programme to become sustainable and flourishing life science businesses."

Eligible start-ups must work in the fields of life sciences and healthcare, including therapeutics, diagnostics, devices and digital. All applications to the Accelerator must be submitted by 31st January 2017.