The London-Oxford-Cambridge golden triangle has been named one of the top global regions to watch in the third annual Global Life Sciences Cluster Report from international professional services and investment management firm Jones Lang LaSalle (JLL)
Launched at the BIO International Convention, the report analyses global trends and ranks regions according to the prominence of their life sciences activity. The golden triangle makes the top 10 due to its world-leading life sciences ecosystem and, crucially, an increased drive to join together the region’s strengths to drive economic growth – in particular through the creation of MedCity, launched by Mayor of London Boris Johnson in April this year.
The UK overall is judged by JLL as the largest country in Europe for life sciences turnover, which stood at £50bn in 2013, and the industry is identified as one of the biggest contributors to the country’s economic growth.
Within the UK, the golden triangle is seen as particularly strong, with world-leading academic and clinical institutions, mature business clusters, good connections to the rest of the world and an increasing focus on public, private and academic sector collaboration, led by MedCity.
In the London area, Paddington, King’s Cross and the M4 corridor from Heathrow to the west are highlighted for their strong life sciences clusters, with JLL naming companies including GSK, Allergan and Parexel being supported by proximity to universities with specialist expertise and facilities, good transport links nationally and internationally, and access to good quality, relatively cheap working space.
Cambridge and Oxford are also praised by the report as mature, successful regions, home to over 180 and 160 biotech and healthcare companies respectively. Both have world-leading research centres such as the Sanger and John Innes, and numerous business and science parks.
The report notes that London is challenged by a shortage of combined office/lab space, which has not been a priority for developers, and expects that MedCity will focus on tackling this issue.
Eliot Forster, Executive Chair of MedCity, says:
“Creating an international buzz and drawing attention to the huge opportunities our region offers is one of the things MedCity was set up to do, so it’s brilliant to get this recognition from JLL. The golden triangle is one of the best places in the world to do life sciences, and it’s clear that by being more joined up we can make a global impact. Both the world economy and the world life sciences market are shifting rapidly, and we need to be agile to remain ahead of the pack. We are home to great people with great ideas, exciting companies and excellent investment opportunities. By continuing to improve the extent to which we collaborate across institutions and sectors, we will present an unbeatable offer.”