The benefit of clusters

June 2018

The burgeoning SME market has driven a surge in demand for campuses and science parks which offer the greatest opportunities for innovation and collaboration. Geographical proximity to world-class academics, business managers and research clinicians, provides a highly networked community resulting in a seamless transition from research and development to the adoption of products. Life science campuses and hubs also promote a community culture with outstanding opportunities for formal and informal networking such as structured networking events, business support programmes and communal cafes and leisure facilities.

The attractiveness of those campuses and parks is being enhanced by sophisticated landlords offering comprehensive and high quality levels of technical and scientific support services. For tenants with high flexibility requirements, landlords can offer a "one-stop service" of clinical trial management and other service level agreements to meet the highest performance standards.

Landlords are also able to offer conditioned environments to the highest specifications. This can include labs with integrated fume cupboards, piped and bottled gas capabilities, and access to full waste management and chemical storage facilities.

Other offerings include cold and dark rooms, water purification units and a wide range of high specification equipment including incubators, thermal cyclers, cell imaging systems and tissue culture rooms. Landlords of life science parks can also provide back-up power supplies to ensure a continuity of supply, in case of any system failures. Critical to tenants, this can minimise any risk to experiments and research.

Such services of course come at a cost, but this is usually built into the service charge mechanism in the lease. Any additional bespoke services can also be provided and charged directly to the tenant.

The importance of life science campuses has also been recognised by the Government with the creation of six academic health science centres. The aim of the Government's policy is to promote collaboration.  However, there is more work to be done in this regard not least in respect of the knock on effect to surrounding infrastructure and housing.

In our experience, we are seeing occupier clients continue to gravitate towards life science campuses for exactly the reasons outlined above. Particularly for SME's, the potential opportunities available in respect of growth through collaboration together with the convenience and cost benefits of having a menu of services to choose from which can be tailored to its specific requirements cannot be underestimated.

If you would like to know more about life science campuses and how we can assist you with your occupational needs, please feel free to contact us.

If you have any questions on this article or would like to propose a subject to be addressed by Synapse please contact us.

DNA sequencing

Raman Sharma

Raman is a partner in the real estate group in our London office.

Rhys Bufton

Rhys is a senior associate and in the real estate group based in our London office.

Lucy Sharples

Lucy Sharples

Lucy is a trainee solicitor in the real estate group based in our London office.

"We are seeing occupier clients continue to gravitate towards life science campuses."