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Laboratory crisis: British science has nowhere to go

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Britain has established itself as a leader in scientific research thanks to its world-renowned research institutions, including Cambridge and Oxford. These institutes have a long and distinguished history in scientific research and life sciences. But there is a “but”. Despite the prestige and reputation oxbridge (a term used to refer to the two universities collectively, often in reference to their prestige and power, in fact), a the negative side Which requires special attention. There are specific issues that threaten the UK’s leading position in research, particularly in the life sciences. Industry players, from biotech executives to property developers, from industry sources to investors, have spoken of growing frustration with Britain’s lack of a coherent approach to everything to do with lab space, finance, talent, suppliers, affordable housing, transport, water and power. . The whole world is a country.

United Kingdom: Lack of modern laboratories hinders the growth of biotech companies

According to personalities belonging to a scientific academic world made in uk, Leading US news agency Reuters has heard that the UK risks being left behind in the life sciences sector due to a lack of modern laboratories which, as a result, is limiting the growth of biotech companies. All this while other countries such as the United States and the European Union are investing huge resources to foster innovation. The lack of suitable laboratories causes significant frustration and hurdles for companies looking to build and grow in the life sciences industry. Lab space rent is at record levels, and access to the right labs can mean the difference between a company’s success or failure. Britain must meet this challenge to enable biotechnology companies to reach their full potential and compete internationally.

Real estate crisis for laboratories

Ross Deegan, Founder QkinThe thrill of raising $100m to expand his biotech company amid the majestic towers of Oxford was initially felt. However, she soon became disillusioned with not finding a larger workshop and found herself forced to work from home on a regular basis. At the “rival” academic center in Cambridge, biochemist Katherine Elton constantly faced similar real estate problems. He learned to adapt old desks in the labs to continue expanding his bioactive protein business. According to real estate advisors from Bidwells, The demand for laboratory space in Cambridge is 110,000 square meters, but only 650 square meters are available. In Oxford, the demand is 79,000 square metres, with only 25,000 square metres.

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Biotech executives have expressed frustration with the lack of space

“It’s a huge limitation when you’re trying to build a company and you can’t find a lab,” said Elton, founder of Elton. Qkin In Reuters. Headquartered at Murdoch House in Cambridge, Qkine combines protein synthesis processes developed at the University of Cambridge with protein engineering techniques to develop unique products that address fundamental biological challenges and scalability for the rapidly growing stem cell, organoids, regenerative medicine and cell culture industries.
Elton said the recent office renovation took up more than 20 percent of his company’s time in the year before it opened. On the other hand, Rosamund Dejean considers herself lucky OMass treatmentsthe pharmaceutical research company he heads, only had to wait a year after raising money to move to larger premises:I couldn’t work as there was nowhere to sit. It ended up in the kitchen“, He said.

Death A Thousand Cuts

The life sciences were to become one of the most important industries in Britain. By generating £94 billion ($118 billion) in 2021, and employing more than 280,000 people, it has allowed the government to brag, glorifying the country as a “science superpower”. According to the consulting company MackenzieHowever, the nation still lags behind the United States in biotechnology. Despite important scientific discoveries, the lack of adequate infrastructure in small towns Housing prestigious universities and strict planning laws, limited the industry’s ability to expand. The situation is also reflected in the availability of financing, with an explosion of venture capital mainly from the US. As developers work to improve infrastructure capacity over the next few years, many experts warn that British companies specializing in sectors such as cell therapies And genesGenomics and synthetic biology may not reach their full potential if infrastructure challenges are not appropriately addressed. Diarmuid O’Brien, Director Cambridge Projectwho is working to commercialize the university’s research, said the current environment is conducive to “Death A Thousand CutsMany of the spin-offs (break-up companies) have been sold to US companies or moved abroad.

Transfer of scientific institutions

Humira, for example, is one of the best-selling drugs in the world, which is owned by the company American Apve, on the basis of a Technology was born in Cambridge. IlluminatesInc., a US company with a market capitalization of $33 billion, has the DNA sequencing approach, also discovered in Cambridge, at the heart of its technology. Prime Minister Rishi Sunak’s government has acknowledged that there is a housing problem and is seeking to reform planning rules, asking local authorities to take into account research and development needs when assessing applications. “In the last month alone we have announced more than £100m (around €115.6m) to provide world-class laboratory space to help unlock the full potential of British researchers.said a government spokesperson, referring to the financing of infrastructure and equipment modernization.

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Standard rents

The race to develop and maintain new technologies is unfolding around the world, with Western governments such as France proposing cheap energy and rapidly planning schemes to attract next-generation industries such as giant battery factories. It’s not just a lack of labs that is driving rents to record highs – Bidwills says they’ll be up by 2022 25% of purpose-built lab space in Oxford – but this also means that access to laboratories can become a determining factor in whether or not a company is successful. To exploit its full potential, the UK biotech industry says small businesses need access to shared lab space in the UK Decent fee And with flexible lease agreements, before being able to move into independent workshops with potential for expansion.

No to decentralization

The company’s founders also say they want to be as close to the heart of academic centers as possible – rather than distant science parks – So you can leverage group influence to share experiences and contacts, take advantage of existing transfer links, and recruit talent more easily. Michael Chen moved to Cambridge from the United States in 2012 to pursue a PhD in Chemistry. He later founded Nuclera with two PhD colleagues to improve access to proteins for research and drug discovery. He said Cambridge offers a cheaper home for drug discovery than Boston, the world’s leading center, thanks to lower rents and wages, but a lack of capital and growth has made it difficult for him to expand this business. The fact that so many scientists spend their time overseeing the renovation of an old building discourages executives who have already raised funds and launched subsidiary projects. “They will simply move to Boston to make their lives easier“.

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can’t keep up

Lab developers say more space is in the works, but one cannot ignore the challenge of building sprawling modern laboratories in densely built university cities. The Pioneer Group, which provides funding and space for labs in Britain, said it needed to act now to deal with demand.crazyAlistair Corey, Director Begbroke Science Park, OxfordHe welcomed the government’s renewed focus on supporting the life sciences sector Driving free In recent years has led to the advancement of ice. “We don’t keep up Of the faster ones around us, whether it’s North America, or parts of Europe, or parts of Asia and especially ChinaHe declared. The issue of Brexit has not helped. The EU invests in research and innovation to keep it thriving. Through its multi-year framework programs for research and innovation, the EU provides funding to strengthen the Union’s standing in science, and to promote industrial innovation by investing in technologies Principal, easy access to capital and support for small businesses, funds the UK can no longer access.

The whole world is a country…or almost

While cuts to research are a redundant and hot topic in all countries, including the UK, circumstances in the Oxford and Cambridge areas can be seen as very particular and do not necessarily represent other situations. While similar problems may be encountered elsewhere, it is also true that in these prestigious realities the same level of crisis or gravity is not reached. Areas of scientific and development expertise at Oxford or Cambridge have already undergone significant development, making for an even more complex and challenging field. further growth. However, it is still important to focus on scientific and industrial development in peripheral areas and realize that this may not be a serious and insoluble problem, even if it is surprising that it affects certain realities.

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