Our investor network has developed significantly over the past year, as part of our Research England deliverables and in partnership with MedCity. Acting in our role as a cluster development organisation, we aimed to build connections between the northern life sciences sector including NHSA members and life science investors, who are predominately based in the South East and struggle to make connections in our region. The aim is to address the imbalance in investment opportunities in the UK for life science companies. For example, together London and the South East made up over 60% of SEIS and EIS investments during the period, compared to 10% for the North of England. London’s share of venture capital increased from 69% of total UK investment in 2015 to 77% in 2020.
Our programme of work has aimed to increase exposure of investments in UK and especially the South East to opportunities in the North, such as university spin-outs, and companies supported by our members through incubator, accelerator and other programmes.
Our first attempt at establishing NHSA connections with the investment community was through an event hosted by NEXUS in Leeds in March 2022. The event was well attended and showcased many of the accelerator programmes NHSA members have to investors.
This approach also develops opportunities for specific interactions in subject areas such as in advanced therapies, where we ran a session with investors on the commercialisation of cell and gene therapies at the national cell and gene therapy congress in Edinburgh.