BioCity Scotland hails outstanding first year of operation
3 January 2012
BioCity Scotland, the country's largest incubation centre for
life science businesses in Newhouse, Lanarkshire will celebrate the
first anniversary of its formation on 5 January 2013.
The 18 acre (7.3ha) site was officially handed to the new company
by global pharmaceutical company MSD for the creation of a
bioscience business incubator to support new and growing life
science ventures. At the time, BioCity made a commitment to bring
the facility to life again, and within weeks the first companies
were moving onto the site.
Since the official opening, BioCity Scotland has started to
populate the once-vacant laboratories and offices by attracting
start-up tenants, university spin-outs and well-established
bioscience companies. To date, eleven companies have joined BioCity.
New ventures can tap into business advice and cost-effective support
whilst the bigger tenants are attracted by the excellent laboratory,
equipment and office environment.
Virtual office and meeting facilities are regularly booked out,
and visitors from across Scotland attend training and business
networking events. Scottish Enterprise, the Scottish Life Science
Association (SLA), the Life Sciences Advisory Board (LiSAB), Health
Science Scotland, Medilink and ABHI have been involved in the
regular use of BioCity for international tours, meetings and
Highlights of the first year have included the visit in January
by First Minister John Swinney MSP, followed in February by HRH the
Princess Royal who officially named the Sir James Black building.
Then came the hosting of a three-day BioEntrepreneur Boot Camp, the
staging of the Dalziel High School Award for Scientific Excellence,
and the appointment of Fraser Black as Managing Director.
One of the earliest companies on site was stem cell services
company Pharmacells whose work is being applied to tackling diseases
such as osteo-arthritis, cosmetic anti-aging, diabetes, and soft
tissue and cartilage repair and renewal. Pharmacells Chief Executive
Athol Haas says: “We were delighted to be able to relocate our stem
cell banking service to the fantastic facilities provided by Biocity
at Newhouse. Access to these world class facilities has
allowed Pharmacells to develop our Oristem and Thallocell products
and to open new markets within regenerative medicine.”
Full service commercial law firm McClure Naismith LLP joined as
BioCity Scotland Corporate Partners in April. Corporate partner
status enables companies such as McClure to offer specialist advice
to all BioCity companies through clinics, workshops, seminars and
presentations. They also get involved in regular BioCity
corporate events, such as the BioEntrepreneur Boot Camp.
David Gallagher, Associate with a particular interest in
intellectual property says: “Partnering with BioCity Scotland has
been a great opportunity for us over the last 12 months to meet,
network and discuss legal issues with companies who are at the
cutting edge of the sector in Scotland. Events, including the
Boot Camp, have allowed individuals and companies to showcase the
best that Scotland has to offer in this area and we are proud to
support these growing businesses”.
BioCity Scotland MD Fraser Black says: “It has been a privilege
to take up the management reins from the initial launch team whose
work laid the foundations for a thriving bioscience business
environment. The results speak for themselves, and the vision of
building a centre which places Scotland as a global leader in life
science innovation is clearly coming to fruition. Further progress
will be made as we continue to build links with our leading research
Universities, enter discussions with corporate investors and venture
funds, and attract the very best high growth company