The Bristol and Bath region attracts a growing number of future-leading companies in the biotech and biomedical sectors.
From medical equipment to virtual reality, our region is developing ways to improve people’s health on a global scale. The life sciences sector is growing rapidly here as we continue to support and invest in start-ups.
Employment in the sector
The Life Sciences sector has seen a rise in employment in our region. Recent start-up activity in Bristol has driven the share of synthetic biology companies in the South West to 6% (UK Synthetic Biology Start-up Survey 2019). This is the highest level in England outside of the Golden Triangle (London, Cambridge and Oxford).
The sector’s impact on employment rates in our region is substantial:
The South West currently employs 4% of the national life science workforce, with 2,700 employees across the region.
There are 221 med tech and 55 digital health companies in the West of England region. This is a 25% increase from over the past three years.
Over 4,000 people are employed in the Medical Technology and Digital Health sectors in the West of England.
Our region’s academic research base employs 1,560 people in Life Sciences. As our infrastructure and investments grow, the more companies and jobs we attract.
Our region is rapidly growing
2700Life science employees across the region
276Med tech and digital health companies
25%increase in the last 3 years
Biotech and biomedical organisations
Bristol contributes to the world’s most detailed biomedical database. UK Biobank has agreed a £50 million contract with the NHS in Bristol, North Somerset and South Gloucestershire.
Our scientists and researchers are contributing to the fight against COVID-19. Bristol UNCovER group (UNiversity COVid Emergency Response) has pooled the resources, capacities and research efforts of specialists across multiple disciplines to tackle the pandemic.
Life science companies in the region are using Oracle for Research’s cloud computing capacity for the fight against COVID-19.
Life Science expertise
Science Creates that provides lab space, sector specific entrepreneurial support and has an in house EIS fund, these are Science Creates Incubators, Science Creates Services, and Science Creates Ventures respectively.
The physical facilities that were previously called Unit DX and Unit DY are now named Science Creates St Philips and Science Creates Old Market. They provide 30,000 square feet (ca. 2,787 m²) of Research and Development, office and events spaces, increasing the available commercial lab space in the wider Bristol area by 82%.
University Enterprise Zone at UWE Bristol
The University Enterprise Zone at UWE Bristol offers facilities to companies specialising in high-tech sectors. It’s supported by the West of England Local Enterprise Partnership and the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.
Currently residing in the Zone are:
Future Space, which supports businesses working in high-tech areas. Situated on the Frenchay campus.
Health Tech Hub, which focuses on advancing technology to enable independent living and reduce the length of hospital stays.
The University of Bristol and the University of Bath are renowned for producing pioneering start-ups, such as:
Iksuda (formerly known as Glythera), which makes anti-drug conjugates for difficult-to-treat cancers.
BriSynBio, a BBSRC/EPSRC at the University of Bristol has helped grow the sector in our region, having nurtured the translation of research into four companies (Zentraxa, Cytoseek, Imophoron and Alpha Nanopore).
Find out how your business can benefit from the Life Sciences facilities in Bristol and Bath