A new initiative to support SMEs and early-stage entrepreneurs in the life sciences industry has launched in Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Warrington.
The GMC Life Sciences Fund by Praetura will combine capital, expertise and resources to help companies across the region to scale up and build on the North West’s world-leading clinical, academic and commercial life sciences expertise.
Investment of between £50,000 to £2 million is being made available to early-stage businesses and SMEs through the scheme. Greater Manchester Combined Authority (GMCA) has committed £10 million to the fund, whilst the Cheshire and Warrington Local Enterprise Partnership and Bruntwood SciTech have committed £5 million each.
Bruntwood SciTech already plays an important role in facilitating growth in the region’s life sciences sector through its world-class office, lab space and range of scientific services.
The North West’s life science sector currently employs more than 28,000 people and is recognised locally and nationally as a leading example of collaboration between research, academic spin-outs and private commercialisation.
Speaking at the launch of the fund, Greater Manchester Mayor Andy Burnham said:
“The pandemic thrust the life science sector’s contribution into the public eye and made us understand the impact it can have on our lives. This fund’s aim is to find, fund and scale the next generation of life science entrepreneurs. It will help grow the sector and create opportunities for key stakeholders across Greater Manchester, Cheshire and Warrington.
“This is an example of how we are supporting firms to innovate and grow. Greater Manchester is a great place to set up a business in sectors like life sciences, owing to its huge diverse talent pool and relatively lower operating costs. Through Innovation Greater Manchester we will be continuing to create the right environment for enterprise and innovation to thrive.”
Innovation Greater Manchester is the city region’s blueprint for levelling up through innovation, involving initiatives such as Made Smarter and the Advanced Manufacturing Productivity Institute (AMPI) in Rochdale. For more information on the initiative, visit gmlep.com/innovation-gm.