Here’s our regular round-up of health and life sciences activity across Liverpool City Region. Dr John Dyer, Director of Innovation at Life Sciences UTC, says: “Liverpool City Region continues to go from strength-to-strength in health and life sciences. The investment in the region that we’re seeing is great news for our students, creating the future jobs that they’ll be qualified to carry out, and inspiration for them while they’re still studying.”
NEW IN OUR LOCAL INNOVATION SECTOR
Life sciences companies supercharged
Four life science companies, ranging from medical diagnostics to medicines manufacturing, will see £277 million in joint government and industry backing to help grow and innovate, announced Science Minister George Freeman last month.
Included in the grant winners is Pharamon, who was awarded a £151 million investment which will substantially grow its operations in Liverpool. The major expansion project will greatly enhance the scale and scope of Pharamon’s services to cell and gene therapy, as well as expanding the scientific team in Liverpool.
Dr Boliang Lou, Chairman and CEO of Pharmaron says, “Securing this grant demonstrates UK Government’s support and trust in Pharmaron to continuously expand our state-of-the-art infrastructure and top-notch scientific team at Liverpool, to serve the gene therapy and vaccine decelopment community in UK and abroad.”
Sci-Tech Daresbury, a science and innovation campus in Halton is set to expand as the second phase of Violet, a £20 million development of the campus, was submitted to planners last month. The project would add a further c.80,000 square foot of innovation real estate to the Liverpool City Region.
Violet is central to Sci-Tech Daresbury’s strategy of expanding the range of high quality facilities to provide a ‘home for life’ for companies and will help support and drive job creation and investment in the City Region. The new buildings have been developed particularly with sectors such as advanced engineering, healthcare, life sciences and materials development in mind.
“The continuing expansion of Sci-Tech Daresbury is key to ensuring that companies can start and scale in the North without the need to relocate elsewhere,” said John Downes, Chairman of Sci-Tech Daresbury. “We also believe that investment in innovation capability goes straight to the heart of future-proofing the regional economy – it’s part of creating a highly skilled workforce that generates high value intellectual property.”
Subject to securing consent, building works could commence in early 2024 with a targeted completion of mid-2025.
Light innovation to improve health
North West-based lighting firm Cicada is aiming to make a difference to people’s lives by allowing them to get seamlessly back in sync with their body clock through installation of their innovative, retrofit lighting. The company has just launched a pilot for intensive care patients at the Walton Centre in Fazakerley, which will focus on using the businesses lighting to assess the impact of patients.
Circada, which is aimed at offices, healthcare, hospitality and residential developments, was founded in 2020 by former medical communications specialist Sam Lewis, who recognised the importance of lighting in our everyday function. The technology is aiming to bring people closer to nature, and is designed with health and simplicity in mind.
“We are seeing an increased awareness of issues between lighting and health but at present we have a limited set of tools to address them… These are often insufficient to make all that much of an impact against the engrained prevalence of ill-suited general artificial lighting and the demands of our busy schedules, which prevent us from spending more time outdoors during the day,” said Sam. “Ultimately, we hope to work with lighting original equipment manufacturers (OEMs) on the controls side to help spread the concept of simplified, health-oriented lighting more widely in the industry. The solution doesn’t need to be complex, it needs to be easily adoptable.”