Yorkshire attracts major investment in healthcare technologies
2 March 2009
New research reveals that investments in the Yorkshire and Humber
region over the past two years account for nearly 10% of all first-round
investments in to healthcare technology companies in the UK.
The figures were revealed at the launch of a new three-year Access to
Finance programme for healthcare technology companies in the region.
The programme, worth £1.8 million, forms part of the ongoing strategy
of Yorkshire Forward, the regional development agency, to support the
development of the healthcare technologies industry in the Yorkshire and
Up to 300 businesses are eligible to benefit from the programme,
which will provide the knowledge, advice, tools and resources needed to
access equity funding from national and international investors.
Sir Chris O’Donnell, the Sheffield-born former CEO of Smith & Nephew
gave the keynote address at the event in front of more than 150 of the
region’s key players in the sector. He outlined the current and future
market trends within the sector and said: “I am delighted to have the
opportunity to express my support for the Access to Finance Programme. I
remain convinced that the healthcare technologies industry has a bright
future with a growing demand for new solutions to clinical and patient
“In Yorkshire and the Humber we have a concentration of clinical,
academic and commercial expertise that has the capability to deliver
innovative solutions and provide excellent returns for those with the
vision and resources to provide the investment required. And, most
importantly, we have Yorkshire’s independent spirit, which sees us
through in the face of adversity and economic uncertainty.”
For investors, the programme will provide a pipeline of attractive
prospective investments between £50,000 and £5m.
The report, commissioned by Grant Thornton and carried out by the
Library Group, is a comprehensive appraisal of the investment history
and opportunities for the healthcare technologies sector in the region.
The report identifies that whilst the venture capital market is strained
in the current economic climate, healthcare technology companies are
amongst the best placed to access the opportunities still on offer.
“Some companies will be 99% ready to go to market and will just need
support to refine their proposals,” explains Yorkshire Forward Assistant
Director of Business Alex McWhirter. “Others will be just starting out
on their journey and can benefit from a tailored package of support that
will put them in the best possible position to access finance once the
money markets are flowing more easily.
“Our intelligence indicates that companies are more likely to attract
investment once they have reached proof of concept stage and registered
their intellectual property on an idea — which is something that this
programme can help with.”
The programme is open to all Yorkshire and Humber based SME companies
and entrepreneurs in the healthcare technology sectors — namely
pharmaceutical, medical device, nutraceutical and medical biotechnology.
Programme manager Phil Whaley of Grant Thornton said: “The success of
the launch event demonstrates the level of interest in the region for
healthcare technology related investment. There are more than 300
Yorkshire-based businesses operating in the sector, from start ups to
established companies, which makes the region an attractive proposition
for potential investors.
“This programme supports the sustained effort needed by the region to
establish and finance start ups and support companies seeking growth.
Interested parties should register on the programme now to capitalise on
the opportunities presented by both national and international
Participating companies will receive ongoing support and assistance,
moving through a structured programme starting with a recruitment and
induction phase, followed by a market and technology assessment,
investment readiness workshop, mentoring, and focused investor
Overview of the healthcare technology capital market
The consortium delivering the Access to Finance programme has also
released a report on The Healthcare Technology Venture Market in
Europe, UK and Yorkshire & Humber.
The report contains detailed information on the market and recent
venture capital deals. It can be
downloaded as a PDF file (link is too long to display)
More information on the Access to Finance programme
The new programme will be delivered by Grant Thornton, BITECIC and
Quotec and information can be accessed via a dedicated website
Interested companies, investors and business support providers can
register their interest on the site.
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