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Busting biotech wide open: BiOspace lab now open in Manchester

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Busting biotech wide open: BiOspace lab now open in Manchester

Busting biotech wide open: BiOspace lab now open in Manchester
October 11
10:42 2017

The first open-access biotech laboratory has opened in Manchester, affording early-stage biotech and medtech companies, as well as entrepreneurial individual scientists with unrestricted, pay-as-you-go access to facilities and equipment.

Visitors to BiOspace, at Manchester Science Park, will be able to access not only the physical equipment but also specialised training from PhD scientists with experience in drug discovery, protein production, diagnostics development and prototyping medical devices.

The lab has been set up as a joint venture by Manchester Science Partnerships (MSP) and Protein Technologies with the aim of providing start-ups or scientists with a low cost and contract-free option to develop ideas. Bench space and equipment are available daily but can also be booked for 12-months at a time.

“We’re passionate about supporting innovative businesses at every stage of their lifecycle. The launch of this flexible new facility for very early-stage businesses is an important step. With reduced overheads, and the business support network afforded by the MSP community, entrepreneurs have access to an environment conducive to measured risk-taking and meaningful collaboration — both essential elements of a thriving knowledge economy,” said Thomas Renn, MSP managing director. “We’re committed to providing open access to cutting edge facilities and are incredibly pleased to launch BiOspace with our partners at PTL.

“Promising start-ups now have the chance to base themselves in the heart of Manchester’s innovation district, in close proximity to our partner universities and NHS institutions, while accessing MSP’s facilities and networks on a flexible basis,” he continued. “Building on the launch of the open-access laboratory at our Alderley Park campus, we have an offer that is unrivalled in the UK, and compelling to an international customer base.”

The new facility offers flexible access to prerequisites for research: lab-scale instrumentation for protein production/ purification and characterisation, molecular biology and cell culture facilities, compound screening readers, bioreactors, diagnostics development, low temperature storage, spectrometers, centrifuges and fume hoods.

“By providing pay-as-you-go access to multi-million pound equipment, and the expertise to accompany it, we’re removing barriers to bright, individual scientists developing tomorrow’s breakthrough treatments,” stated Dr Farid Khan, founder of BiOspace, and chair of Protein Technologies. “Manchester has Europe’s largest student population, and ready access to grant funding through the Greater Manchester and Cheshire Life Sciences Fund and GM Academic Health Science Network, and the Business Growth Hub. The city region has a healthy mix of novel ideas, and the financial support to see them realised.

“BiOspace offers the ideal environment for interdisciplinary collaboration, with experts in biology, 3D printing, electronics and software development coworking in one facility,” he added. “In essence, BiOspace offers incubation at the very earliest stage. The hope then is that as start-ups grow, they make the natural transition to the next stage of the MSP ecosystem facilities like the MedTech Centre, Bright Building’s Mi-IDEA and the BioHub — at Alderley Park’s Mereside campus, in Cheshire.”

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