LONDON LIFE SCIENCES SECTOR SET FOR BOOST AS 60,000 Sq Ft LAB SPACE RELEASED BY SCALE SPACE IN WHITE CITY INNOVATION DISTRICT
- Scale Space releases 60,000 sq ft of flexible space for labs and offices as the second phase of its new 200,000 sq ft building in the White City Innovation District reaches practical completion.
- London’s life sciences sector is growing fast but the lack of lab space and the often prohibitive cost to convert buildings to lab space are both major growth limiters for the sector in the capital.
- Floor plates in Scale Space can be fitted out as offices or labs in a cost-effective manner providing a boost to London’s life sciences sector.
- Located at the heart of Imperial College London’s White City Campus, Scale Space provides nearby access to world-leading scientists and facilities.
- The new space adds to Scale Space’s community created by Blenheim Chalcot, the UK’s leading digital venture builder, and Imperial College London to help innovative businesses grow faster and stronger.
- Scale Space’s first phase opened in July 2020 and is now home to over 20 companies including some of the UK’s fastest growing life sciences and fintech businesses.
Scale Space, the UK’s new community for scaling businesses, has released 60,000 sq ft of flexible space for labs and offices as the second phase of its 200,000 sq ft building in London’s White City Innovation District reaches practical completion.
Space Space’s expansion will provide an urgent boost for London’s fast growing life sciences industry, key to London’s post-COVID recovery, whose growth is currently hampered by a real lack of suitable lab space.(1) The problem is particularly felt by life sciences scale-ups, which need low cost of entry, lab and office space and access to talent and know-how that can help them grow, contribute to London’s GDP and generate employment and upskilling opportunities.
Situated on Imperial College’s White City Campus, near Imperial’s Molecular Sciences Research Hub, The Sir Michael Uren Hub and the Translation and Innovation Hub (I-HUB), Scale Space directly addresses these challenges. The building is designed to facilitate the cost-effective fit out of both offices and wet labs. Typical lab requirements, such as for additional power and ventilation, are enabled through the building’s specification.
As a community for scale-ups, Scale Space helps unlock innovation by connecting businesses with both academic expertise and business know-how(2), alongside a roster of service partners, through the partnership of its founding partners, Blenheim Chalcot and Imperial College London. Scale Space brings together Blenheim Chalcot’s venture building expertise with Imperial’s thought-leadership to help these companies develop by connecting them with the right people, services, space and resources.
Imperial College Business School will conduct teaching and research from Scale Space from Spring 2021 onwards. This will create a unique environment in which businesses, academics and students can collaborate. Companies will be able to draw on Imperial’s world-class expertise, while providing Imperial students and academics with valuable insights for the research and teaching of entrepreneurship.
Mark Sanders, Executive Chairman, Scale Space said: “Scale Space provides a highly effective solution to the pressing lack of lab space in London for scaling life sciences businesses. We’re excited to be offering this space when the life sciences sector is growing and innovating at such a pace, even more so as we see the impacts of Covid and the industry’s response. We look forward to connecting our new tenants into Imperial College London and Blenheim Chalcot as well as other Scale Space members and experts so they can grow faster and stronger.
“We are ready to support the UK’s highest potential life sciences businesses to achieve their full potential. We have a thorough understanding of their workspace needs – both lab and office – and can support them through the design and development of their space, the way they want it.”
John Anderson, Director of Financial Strategy, Imperial College London said: “London’s growing life science community needs more space dedicated to scaling innovative companies. Imperial has a long term commitment to ensuring the White City campus will be a place with the infrastructure and capacity to provide for growing life sciences businesses. We delivered and rapidly filled turn key laboratory space in the I-HUB building and launched the oversubscribed Imperial White City Incubator. Scale Space now provides additional, high-quality capacity that is ready to use for both labs and office. Spinouts and later stage scale-ups can now access this flexible space to support their growth ambition at the heart of a supportive ecosystem.”
Phil Jackson, Head of International and Cluster Development, MedCity said: “Despite the challenging times, life sciences companies in sectors like Advanced Therapies are going through explosive growth. They are raising significant investment and expanding rapidly. But they are running out of lab space, which in the immediate term is in critically short supply in London.
“Scale Space, with its proximity to Imperial College world-leading scientists and research facilities, has the right ingredients for high growth life sciences businesses. The new labs and workspace create opportunities for life sciences scale-ups to be part of the thriving, globally-significant innovation cluster at White City.”
Dr Glenn Crocker MBE, Head of Life Sciences, JLL said: “Given the pace of growth and investment, we estimate that the demand for space from life sciences companies in London will increase by between 1.2m and 4m sq ft over the next four to five years. Currently the overall provision of lab space is dispersed across London, and in limited supply. Some buildings could be converted to labs, but there can be challenges in doing that and landlords often need a qualifier of covenant before they make the investment. This can be problematic for scaling life sciences businesses, which are often still dependent on equity funding. The other factor is life sciences companies generally favour being clustered rather than dispersed. Scale Space is an important development because it provides the environment scale ups seek and will attract others to locate in the White City Innovation District.”
Scale Space, clad in corrugated steel with gold teku panels, creates a visual focal point on the White City Campus. The interior provides a state-of-the-art flexible working environment with offices tailored for each business. The four-storey, low-rise building was created using an innovative modular construction approach, and is designed to encourage interaction and collaboration. Its conference and event facilities sit alongside informal working and amenity spaces, and an outdoor recreation area next to the meadow.
Scale Space’s first phase opened in July 2020 with 100,000 sq ft available and is now home to more than 20 businesses and over 1,000 workers.
Some of the companies at Scale Space in White City include:
- DNAe which is developing a platform that performs DNA sequencing on a microchip, to provide rapid, actionable information to clinicians. DNAe is also a spinout from Imperial College London.
- Second Nature has raised £10m of series A funding for its digital behavioural change programme for weight loss.
- Modulr, a fintech business created by Blenheim Chalcot that has raised a total of £63m, including a recent £9m investment from PayPal Ventures.
Scale Space’s second phase is 60,000 sq ft flexible space for labs and offices. It is now practically complete.
PRESS CONTACTS & IMAGES
Please contact Kallaway on:
High resolution images of Scale Space: http://bit.ly/scale_space_Images
Video: Three-minute overview of the ideas and purpose behind Scale Space from Scale Space’s creators Manoj Badale, Co-Founder, Blenheim Chalcot, Mark Sanders, executive Chairman, Scale Space and Professor Francisco Veloso, Dean Imperial College Business School. http://bit.ly/Scale_Space_Video
(1) Shortage of Lab Space in London
Laboratory space in the capital is constrained (A), and the pressure for space is further increased due to the rapid growth of the life sciences sector(B).
A.Savills Research ‘Life Sciences: Trends & Outlook’ in January 2021 reports that “It [London] suffers from a shortage of appropriate science-related workspace, particularly laboratories, to accommodate company demand as a result of them raising capital and headcount growth increasing”. Click to view. This report follows Savills Research in March 2020, that reported that the available laboratory and R&D space in UK cities is small compared to other global locations. The report noted London had just c.90k sq and Manchester had 360k sq ft of available space compared to Boston (US) and New York which with 14.6m and 1.36m sq ft available, respectively [at the time of the report]. The report also highlights the ‘dearth of new laboratory space’ coming through in the next few years and that while this could change London at the time only accounted for 5% of the UK total. Click to view.
B.Savills Research ‘Life Sciences: Trends & Outlook’ in January 2021 reports that “2020 saw £19.9 billion of life science-related capital raised by companies headquartered in the UK This is 23% higher than 2019; two-thirds of the deals were announced/completed in Q4 2020”. The UK Bioindustry Association’s 2020 Year in Review reported that after three relatively static years 2020 saw a marked increase in the scale and number of equity fundraising transactions for listed bio-science companies. Click to view. The BIA’s Biotech Financing Update (June – August 2020) reports how the scale of UK biotech fundraising continued to accelerate in the third quarter of 2020, with a record £1bn raised between 1 June and 31 August 2020. Click to view.
(2) Scale Space services available for tenants include:
- Expert Know-How: Blenheim Chalcot believes business scaling is a science. Scale Space will help its members speed their development by helping them draw on the knowledge and growth processes followed by other successful scaling businesses within Blenheim Chalcot and beyond as well as research from The Scale Up Institute, Imperial College London and other experts.
- The Growth Network: Scale Space helps its members connect into its network of venture builders, academics, researchers, tech leaders and scale up leaders. Regular Scale Space member get togethers help to build a collegiate environment of peer-to-peer support.
- Scale-up services: Scale Space provides its members with access to specialist services and expertise. These include talent clinics to help businesses draw on talent from across Scale Space’s university network and talent partners. Other services include student placements to specific consultancy advice from growth specialists across HR, legal, tax and governance, through to specific projects delivered for companies by Imperial College London’s entrepreneurial student network, including MBA students.
- Space tailored for growth: Companies can adapt their space as they wish and change it as they grow. Space ranges from fully fitted offices to research labs or office suites – and across a range of models from long-term traditional leases to flexible managed services.
NOTES TO EDITORS
Scale Space (www.scalespace.co.uk)
Scale Space, created by Blenheim Chalcot, the UK’s leading digital venture builder, in 2020 is an entirely new concept that brings Blenheim Chalcot’s expertise together with world leading universities to create a new community for scale-ups to help them grow faster and stronger. Blenheim Chalcot has partnered with Imperial College London to launch Scale Space’s first physical site on the White City Innovation District, London.
Scale Space is a growth community, connecting businesses together for mutual benefit, knowledge sharing and to help them draw on the specific skills and expertise within Blenheim Chalcot and its university partners. This is delivered via a structured range of services accessed within the building or online.
Scale Space’s first phase opened in July 2020 and fully let to more than 20 businesses and over a 1,000 staff, excluding Imperial College London’s staff and students. Example companies already in Scale Space include:
- Agilisys - leading provider of cloud, IT, and digital transformation services in the UK, as well as the technology partner for the States of Guernsey.
- Avado – A professional academy helping companies enable real change through interactive learning experiences.
- DNAe – the first true point-of-need sequencing company revolutionizing clinical diagnostic tools.
- Koodoo – The digital platform transforming the mortgage industry.
- Modulr has recently raised a total of £63m, including a recent £9m investment from PayPal Ventures. Modulr enables digital businesses and software platforms across lending, banking, fintech, travel, employment services and accounting to easily embed and build new payment products and services within their customer journey.
- Second Nature has raised a fresh $10 million in Series A funding. The company provides an easy to follow programme used by the NHS and public for long term behavioural change and sustainable weight loss.
- Salary Finance – Socially responsible employee finance.
Imperial College London (http://www.imperial.ac.uk)
Imperial College London is one of the world's leading universities. The College's 20,000 students and 8,000 staff are working to solve to the biggest challenges in science, medicine, engineering and business.
Imperial is the world’s fifth most international university, according to Times Higher Education, with academic ties to more than 150 countries. Reuters named the College as the UK's most innovative university because of its exceptional entrepreneurial culture and ties to industry.
Imperial staff, students and alumni are working round-the-clock to combat COVID-19. Imperial has nearly two thousand key workers, and is at the forefront of coronavirus epidemiology, virology, vaccine development and diagnostics. More than one thousand Imperial staff and students are volunteering to support the NHS.
Blenheim Chalcot (https://blenheimchalcot.com/)
Founded and run by entrepreneurs, Blenheim Chalcot is the UK’s leading venture builder. Working alongside company founders, Blenheim Chalcot supports its ventures from startup to scale to exit, giving them access to the global networks and services they need to grow.
This support is bolstered by the innovative partnerships Blenheim Chalcot forges with big businesses. Its digital expertise helps its ventures be more agile, while its partners' global scope helps them scale faster.
Blenheim Chalcot has built over 40 businesses in a variety of sectors, including technology, financial services, education, travel, software, sport and media. Working with entrepreneurs and co-founders, it continues to create and build businesses in these sectors, often from the ground up.
END TO ALL