Birmingham is set to lead the delivery of medical innovation in the Midlands through the development of Birmingham Health Innovation Campus; attracting significant inward investment, creating high value jobs in the region, and accelerating the development and deployment of new drugs, diagnostics and healthcare technologies to patients.
The Campus will be the only science park in the Midlands dedicated to translational health and life sciences research and will sit at the heart of an already well-established critical cluster of health excellence led by Birmingham Health Partners (BHP) – a strategic alliance between the University of Birmingham and two co-located NHS Foundation Trusts – University Hospitals Birmingham and Birmingham Women’s and Children’s.
The development of the 10-acre Birmingham Health Innovation Campus is being delivered through a long-term collaboration between the University and the UK’s leading property provider for the science and technology sector, Bruntwood SciTech, a 50:50 joint venture between Bruntwood and Legal & General.
The Campus will provide up to 657,000 sq ft state-of-the-art lab, office and incubation space providing co-location opportunities for all stages of health and life science businesses. The first phase includes a 133,000 sq ft, six-storey building housing a new innovation centre – the Precision Health Technologies Accelerator (PHTA) – that will bring together the leading strengths of the region in genomics and diagnostics for healthcare technologies development and evaluation, clinical trials and healthcare data and informatics. The PHTA will provide a range of prototyping, incubation and laboratory facilities for early-stage businesses and access to business support to develop and rapidly bring innovations to market.
The first phase building will also provide space for larger, more established SMEs and scaleups working in medtech, precision medicine, diagnostics and digital healthcare, creating a thriving cluster of businesses working together and in collaboration with the surrounding clinical and academic community.
The 10-acre site has already received development funding from Birmingham City Council and the Greater Birmingham and Solihull Local Enterprise Partnership and has been designated a Life Science Opportunity Zone by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS). It will catalyse the development of a new high-growth life sciences cluster for the city and region and by 2030 Birmingham Health Innovation Campus will have seen £210m investment, creating around 10,000 new jobs, and delivering more than £400m GVA to the local economy.
Professor Tim Jones, University of Birmingham Provost and Vice-Principal, explained: “With access to Birmingham’s world-class genomics laboratories, health data programmes, healthcare technology development teams, clinical trials leadership and academic expertise, Birmingham Health Innovation Campus will become the ideal place for innovative health and life sciences businesses to thrive.
“This ambitious new development will leverage the existing integrated BHP ecosystem to drive innovation and economic growth – all centred on a shared mission to transform the health of all citizens, in Birmingham and beyond, by accelerating the development and adoption of healthcare innovations.”
Dr David Hardman, Managing Director of Bruntwood SciTech, commented: “This is a huge opportunity for the UK’s life science sector. By creating an environment that will not only help businesses to form, scale, collaborate and grow, we will establish a new thriving life sciences hub, which will create much needed capacity for the West Midlands and help to attract further international investment to the region and beyond.
“Working alongside Birmingham Health Partners, Birmingham Health Innovation Campus will help to align academic, NHS and industry capabilities. It will also provide additional much-needed world class facilities for pioneering healthcare businesses and will bolster the UK’s position as a life sciences leader on the global stage.”
Andy Street, the Mayor of the West Midlands, said: “Life sciences is an incredibly exciting and important sector that we have been quietly growing in the West Midlands over the last few years. Now with today’s announcement we are cementing our ambition to be one of the global leaders in this sector.
“The timing of this announcement, given the clear current economic challenges, is also critical. By acting as a catalyst for investment, the campus will help to create a significant number of high-quality, well-paid, local jobs for local people.
“Today’s announcement is momentous for the West Midlands. I applaud Birmingham Health Partners and welcome Bruntwood SciTech, and I am pleased to have played my part in making it happen.”
Eleanor Jukes, Strategic Investment Manager – Future Cities at Legal & General Capital, said: “The Birmingham Health Innovation Campus, once completed, will provide world-leading office and lab facilities which will not only boost economic growth and job opportunities in the region, but also aid the development of potentially life-saving treatments and technologies. Over the next ten years this landmark scheme will unlock over 10,000 new jobs and contribute around £400m to the local region, acting as a major catalyst for economic recovery in the wake of Covid-19.”
Work will begin on an extensive public consultation in the coming months, with the first phase currently set to complete in 2023.