Oxford in top ten of global cities for life sciences

photo shows: Milton Park, Oxfordshire
MEPC Milton Park in Oxfordshire aerial June 2020[2]

Property agency Savills has released a new report ranking the top 20 cities for life sciences.

Paul Tostevin, Director of World Research at Savills, said: While US cities dominate, led by Boston cities in China, the UK, Japan, Germany, Switzerland, France, Singapore, Australia and Ireland are all major players.”

In the UK, Oxford comes in at no 9, just beating Cambridge at 10.

With world-leading research providing the ideas and talent to develop ground-breaking new technologies, Oxford also operates as a global powerhouse for clinical trials. The city received the highest VC funding for the UK in 2020 at $611 million, and averaged over $26 million per deal.

Cambridge is a centre of health research in the UK, and like Oxford, a vital hub within the UK life sciences industry. Cambridge was cited in nearly 1,600 articles throughout 2019 and has received more than 150 grants from the Gates Foundation for global health research initiatives in the last decade.

The ranking is based on each city’s human capital, investment into health and R&D, the flow of funding into the cities, their openness for business, lifestyle indicators, and the cost of property in each market.

These cities, large and small, compete for business. Life sciences is no longer the preserve of out-of-town campuses. Vibrant urban centres are now also in demand as ‘a place to be’ in a bid to attract the best and brightest. Big tech players have entered the sector, blurring the lines between the tech and life science clusters.

The challenge for the real estate industry, meanwhile, is supplying property that meets the particular requirements of occupiers in this space. The delivery of labs, incubator and R&D space through to major headquarters will enable critical facilities to operate and grow without interruption.