Early-stage life sciences enterprises are set to benefit from a unique new collaboration between Birmingham’s Precision Health Technologies Accelerator (PHTA) and Oxford Science Enterprises (OSE).
The partnership will focus on helping high-growth health technology and life sciences companies to scale, primarily through access to high-quality lab and innovation space, while also catalysing cross-regional collaboration between academics and enterprises.
PHTA is the University of Birmingham (UoB)’s flagship life sciences research accelerator, where entrepreneurs, start-ups and scale-ups collaborate with clinical-academic specialists with the aim of rapidly translating and commercialising cutting-edge therapies and technologies. Due to open in late 2023, it will be located at Birmingham Health Innovation Campus – a 10-acre science park which is being delivered in partnership between UoB and Bruntwood SciTech.
OSE is an independent investment company created in 2015 to build transformational businesses through its unique partnership with the University of Oxford. Actively focused on a core portfolio of around 40 companies – spanning across life sciences, health tech and deep tech – OSE goes well beyond funding by providing access to advisers, specialists and state-of-the-art lab and start-up space to help founders turn cutting-edge ideas into successful businesses.
PHTA is set to help address the current low availability of research-focused lab space in the UK by providing early-stage companies with access to much-needed grow-on space.
Professor Irene Tracey, Vice-Chancellor at the University of Oxford, commented: “We are thrilled to be involved in this exciting new initiative that brings together our two great universities centred on a shared belief in our collective ability to solve some of the great health challenges via the creation of more commercial research. This is good news for the local and national economy and it shows what is possible when we combine strengths and work collaboratively.”
University of Birmingham Provost and Vice-Principal, Professor Stephen Jarvis, said: “Universities are unique in their ability to act as ‘engines’, producing new SMEs and driving regional growth through creating high-value jobs. By establishing this Birmingham-Oxford life sciences partnership, which will be a vibrant mix of University and commercial research, we believe we’re setting the direction of travel for future collaborations between regions.”
Jim Wilkinson, Chief Financial Offer at Oxford Science Enterprises, commented: “Access to lab and start-up space is crucial for any early-stage business, which is why we’ve invested in building a robust property portfolio to match companies with the right space to grow and scale with their business needs. Through this partnership with PHTA we can offer even more options to OSE’s expanding portfolio and continue to support high-impact businesses across both regions that are working to solve some of the world’s most challenging problems.”
Professor Gino Martini, PHTA’s CEO, explained: “We’re fortunate to have multiple regional centres of excellence across the UK and I firmly believe that we work best when we work together. Birmingham and Oxford have a long track record of collaboration – including the Arthritis Therapy Acceleration Programme and Covid-19 drug trials among other projects – and we’re confident that increased collaboration along the ‘M40 corridor’ will lead to enhanced patient outcomes and economic growth in both regions.”
PHTA is currently based at the Institute of Translational Medicine and can facilitate collaborations with clinical-academic experts from across the Birmingham Health Partners ecosystem, before moving in to No1 BHIC late this year. To discuss capabilities, contact a member of the team.
Pictured L-R: Professor Stephen Jarvis; Professor Irene Tracey; Professor Gino Martini; Professor Chas Bountra, Pro-Vice Chancellor for Innovation – University of Oxford.
The Precision Health Technologies Accelerator (PHTA) is the University of Birmingham’s signature health and life sciences research facility, providing approximately 70,000 sq ft of state-of-the-art laboratory, incubation and collaboration space and was supported with funding from GBSLEP.
PHTA will soon occupy the top three floors of No.1 BHIC – the flagship building of the ambitious Birmingham Health Innovation Campus which is being delivered in partnership with experienced investor-developers Bruntwood SciTech.
Working closely alongside Birmingham Health Partners, PHTA offers access to a wide range of expertise in clinical research, trials and health data, as well as opportunities to work with key opinion leaders across the academic and clinical spectrum. Its physical facilities will include wet and dry lab space; prototype development and small-batch manufacturing; business incubation space and flexible hot-desking.
About Oxford Science Enterprises
Oxford Science Enterprises (OSE) is an independent, billion-pound investment company, created in 2015 to found, fund and build transformational businesses via its unique partnership with the University of Oxford, the world’s #1 research university. This partnership enables OSE to work with the brightest academic minds tackling the world’s toughest challenges and guarantees unrivalled access to their scientific research. In collaboration with its global network of entrepreneurs and advisers, OSE goes well beyond funding to shape and nurture these complex ideas into successful businesses. Actively focused on a core portfolio of around 40 companies spanning three high-growth, high-impact sectors – Life Sciences, Health Tech, and Deep Tech – the company adopts a flexible, long-term investment approach, recognising the path from ground-breaking research to global markets takes time and resilience. To date, OSE has invested £0.5 billion in over 80 ambitious companies built on Oxford science. A key player in Oxford’s entrepreneurial ecosystem, OSE is highly motivated to foster an environment that catalyses pioneering research and steers it to commercial success.