Life science startups in the North of England take note — the deadline is fast-approaching to take advantage of a £500,000 accelerator fund that could transform their businesses. Startups only have until 31 January 2017 to apply to the North of England Life Science Accelerator (NELSA).

Set-up by a group including science park operator Manchester Science Partnerships, bioscience incubation centre BioCity, investment firms Catapult Ventures and Alderley Park Ventures (APV), university collaboration N8 Research Partnership and the Northern Health Science Alliance (NHSA), the accelerator will be anchored at Alderley Park’s BioHub.

NELSA will aim to support young life science businesses across the north by providing seed funding for up to 10 early-stage commercialisation projects for a maximum of 12 months. The funding will enable businesses to carry out proof-of-concept research and eligible firms will also be offered business support such as workshops, coaching and access to mentors.

Further, companies will be given access to the facilities and equipment at the internationally-renowned Alderley Park site.

Competition for the accelerator funds is bound to be fierce and to be eligible, startups must work in the fields of life sciences and healthcare, covering areas such as diagnostics, therapeutics, devices and digital.

All accelerator applications must be submitted by 31 January 2017.

Helen Philippou, a University of Leeds professor of translational medicine, recommended the program. She said, “I completed the BioHub Accelerator programme in Spring 2016. Through the customer discovery process and access to amazing support from members of the Expert Network, my understanding of the clinical potential of my product was transformed.

“The programme provided an invaluable introduction to the commercial environment and the drug development process. I whole heartily recommend it.”

Ned Wakeman, the director of BioCity, which manages Alderley Park’s BioHub, added, “BioCity’s programmes have already proven highly successful in supporting the creation and growth of successful life science companies.

“Joining forces with great innovation originating from within N8 Research Partnership, combined with clinical access and validation from within NHSA and funding, will help promising life sciences businesses bring great ideas to commercial reality.

“Alderley Park is the logical base for the accelerator. The applications we’ve received so far have been of extremely high quality but we want to see more, so I’d urge all life sciences start-ups to take advantage of a fund which could propel their business to the next stage.”

 

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