This month:
MedCity’s space demand study is published identifying the need for new incubation and lab space
New dates for Angels in MedCity events
OneStart 2016 winner announced at the London final
Join MedCity for our Health Innovators Event at London Tech Week

Welcome – new Mayor and team changes too

On May 8th 2016 London elected a new Mayor. MedCity has sent it warmest congratulations to the new Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan. We look forward to working with him to keep on growing the London life science hub and the broader region covering the Cambridge – London – Oxford golden triangle. The new Mayor’s priorities on housing, transport, health and entrepreneurship are all areas which touch our work. These are all critical to ensuring that the region can compete globally as a hub for life sciences and as a centre for the development of digital technologies within healthcare.

Our space study, released this month and featured below in this newsletter, is a testament to how strong our sector is. However, action is needed to ensure that it will continue to thrive; support on issues such as planning will be needed from the Mayor and from Government, working together.

In just over a week the MedCity team will be packing its bags for BIO 2016 in San Francisco. We will be based on the UK Pavillion to showcase the great spaces available in London for bioscience, outlining the opportunity for access to investment and marketing the first class cell and gene therapy capability of the region, amongst other activities. We are also looking forward to supporting the small businesses that will be with us as part of the Mayor’s International Business Programme (for more information check out

I am also delighted to welcome some recent arrivals within the MedCity team –

Mohammad Daou, who is our new Business Support apprentice
Riam Kanso, who joins us from UCL Enterprise to run our Collaborate to Innovate programme (to be launched soon – watch this space for more in coming weeks)
Sinéad Kearns, who has completed her PhD in London, and joined the team recently as our Analyst
Prasshy Jeyarajan, who has completed her PhD at Oxford and has joined the Business Marketing team at London & Partners as the life sciences and digital health specialist

Sadly, this month we also said goodbye to Abigail Smith, who had been working with MedCity as our Communications and PR Manager since we launched back in April, 2014. Abigail hasn’t gone far, as she is now working for UCL, and we wish her all the very best.

As always, if you want to get in touch with the team you can contact us at

Sarah Haywood

London needs 250,000 square feet of specialised laboratory/incubation/grow-on space by 2020 to help meet demand from domestic spin-outs and international investors

MedCity is pleased to present a major new study assessing the demand for healthcare R&D space in London. Prepared by Creative Places and funded by the Greater London LEP, the report examines the trends impacting demand for specialised research and development space, particularly laboratory space in London.

The report finds both an unparalleled level of scientific capacity within a small and defined area, increasing levels of capital investment and the attractiveness of the region to international scientific collaboration. London, as part of the broader golden triangle of Oxford, Cambridge and the surrounding south east of England, is the hub for life science research and development in Europe. New developments such as the Imperial White City campus are helping to sustain this growth by offering much needed additional scientific space in the heart of the city.

The report is based on interviews with just under 100 companies and extensive international research. Among the key findings are that in the coming 3-5 years London will need to add a minimum of 250,000 square feet of specialised laboratory/incubation/grown on space to help meet the burgeoning demand both domestic spin-out and international investors. The report is a resounding endorsement of the vitality of the life science sector of the region. It confirms the economic value to London and indeed the national economy of ongoing investment in life science space.

To read the report in full, go to

Angels in MedCity investor workshop and SME pitching events in June, 2016

The next Angels in MedCity investor workshop will take place on 14 June in London. This will be followed by a pitching event on 29 June, where six selected life sciences/healthcare companies will pitch to potential investors.
To find out more about attending this or future presentation events email Patrick O’Brien (

For more information about our angel investing activities, check out the Angels in MedCity website

MedCity at OneStart Europe 2016 Finals Gala

Berlin-based start-up ‘Captain T Cell’ secured £100k for next generation T cell receptors for cancer immunotherapy at the OneStart finals on Monday, 16th May, 2016. Captain T Cell pitched against 9 other contestants in the finals gala at the Grand Connaught Room in Central London.
Novel immunotherapies like Captain T Cell’s have the power to revolutionise the fight against cancer. Having completed OneStart’s accelerator programme over the last months leading up to the finals, Captain T Cell can now develop the company with further £100k of funding, in addition to free lab space and extensive follow-on mentoring.

MedCity was supporting OneStart again this year, with CEO Sarah Haywood chairing a panel on “Understanding your Market” at the OneStart bootcamp in February, and supporting the accelerator as a mentor. The top-10 teams were selected in several rounds out of 750 applications from 53 countries. Many of the semi-finalists and finalists will go on to secure follow-on investments including from our own Angels in MedCity programme just showing the quality of training they receive during the accelerator programme. This programme continues to support entrepreneurialism within life sciences and to encourage commercialisation of ideas being generated within our academic institutions.

London Tech Week – MedCity, DigitalHealth.London and Tech London Advocates bring you the Health Tech Innovators event
Click here to register for this event

MedCity is pleased to announce that we will be hosting an event as part of London Technology Week. Working with DigitalHealth.London and Tech London Advocates, we are hosting a unique industry event, focusing on how innovators in Digital Health and Health Tech can work with the big players – focusing on NHS and Corporates.
With experiences shared, the session will offer practical insights, exploring a range of different
business models and approaches and sharing learning from a range of players who are committed to seeing technology delivering within healthcare settings.

Confirmed speakers include: Senior Managers from NHS, J&J, Konica Minolta, and a range of successful innovators.

What old washing machines can tell you about Digital Health

May, an event took place in NatWest’s offices in central London to inform the creation of a European Reference Framework for age-friendly housing (due 2018). The event looked at the wider theme of “Neighbourhoods of the Future.” I was delighted to be asked to speak during the second day, giving me the opportunity to talk both about MedCity and about DigitalHealth.London. The conference took place just days after we learned that Sadiq Khan had been elected as the new Mayor of London and given his strong commitment to housing, it was a good opportunity to create a bridge between different policy areas – housing, health and social and 12thOn 11

From both the event’s agenda, and from those contributing, it is clear that there are a number of elements that need to be considered when building a framework for age friendly housing and longer term care provision. Over the two days, the conference considered property, the role of digital technology, the importance of design, ways of supporting communities, and at the heart of the issue, people.
The vast majority of built property in the UK (95%) is age-unfriendly. It is not able to provide a suitable environment for those who, as they move through the various phases of their lives, wish to continue living in the same place – healthily, safely, and with suitable support. The benefits of carrying out the modifications to enable them to do so are obvious, as indeed is the idea of designing in requirements for older people and establishing homes as being maximally digitally enabled. One question is how house builders can be incentivised to do this, particularly given the current push to create more affordable starter homes. If digitally enabled homes come at a cost premium, is this something that can be achieved for the majority?
During my talk, I raised what I consider to be one of the key challenges within the UK in terms of exploiting digital technology tosupport people (of any age) within their own homes – that is the separation between the social care budget, which sits with Local Authorities, and the health budget, which sits across a wide range of NHS organisations. This is a real challenge for all of us, particularly entrepreneurs who are developing technology which might generate benefits and savings within one area (budget) while the costs are incurred in a different organisation or budget. I think it is absolutely imperative that innovators have a clear understanding of these budgeting and organisational issues as they develop their ideas and their business models. Sadly, we don’t have any easy solutions, but a good understanding of the economic and health economic case for any technology is key. The good news is that through DigitalHealth.London, there are people that you can turn to who can give advice and guidance on these issues.
The need for good design was a consistent theme over the two days. Design as a critical component of technology development is key in achieving acceptance; the better the design, the more straightforward the user acceptance process is. Similarly, with the built environment, good design will be a key element in terms of how age friendly features are incorporated into the buildings of the future. This point was brought home to me with startling simplicity by the wonderful and inspiring Prof Heinz Wolff of Brunel University. Although he was there to talk about people being at the absolute centre of care provision, with his proposal for Give and Take (GAT) based pensions, he showed a slide of a 1970s washing machine, complete with a waist height door that allowed loading and unloading of the washing without the need for bending or crouching down, and with a flat top that allowed for placing of clean washing at height and not on the floor. Prof Wolff bemoaned the fact that design and technological development had resulted in present day appliances being much less user friendly, particularly for older users. He was right. I looked at that picture and wondered how we had managed to end up with devices that invariably result in me (at least) dropping my lovely clean laundry onto the floor! It is sometimes good to be reminded that technology has to be used by people, and that we should make this as simple and as straightforward as we possible can.

Sarah Haywood

As I was unable to attend the whole two days of the conference, I am grateful to Angus Wallis, who gave me a great précis of the whole Neighbourhoods of the Future event. If you are interested in reading a fuller account of the meeting, Angus has written an account, which can be found at I am grateful to him for allowing me to plagarise his work.

Coming up

Developing technology for the ageing population? Check out Aging 2.0: London Global Search Pitch Event, central London – 14th June
FT Digital Health Summit – 16th June
Commonwealth First is looking for SMEs that would like to join their first cohort of Commonwealth Export Champions – closing date for applications – 20th June
London Tech Week – 20th – 26th June
BIA UK CEO and Innovators Forum – 22 – 23 June
DigitalHealth.London Accelerator Pitstop, DigitalHealth.London, 1 September

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MedCity was established in April 2014 by the Mayor of London with the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the capital’s three Academic Health Science Centres – Imperial College Academic Health Centre, King’s Health Partners and UCL Partners.

The next edition of MedCity Update will be sent in June.



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