Boost for healthcare entrepreneurship

NatWest and the Precision Health Technologies Accelerator (PHTA) are partnering to boost entrepreneurship in the health and life sciences sectors, with the aim of supporting the growth of the sectors across the West Midlands.

The partnership will see NatWest’s business building Accelerator scheme link with PHTA to support entrepreneurs and small businesses in the burgeoning life science sector. 

PHTA is the University of Birmingham’s flagship facility dedicated to translational health research, which will soon be based at Birmingham Health Innovation Campus (BHIC). The campus is the Midlands’ only science park dedicated to life sciences research and is delivered in partnership between the University and Bruntwood SciTech.

The life science sector looks for innovative solutions to tackle healthcare problems, including new medical technology such as self-administered treatments, data driven clinical trials and the development of new drugs that can be tailored to the individual.

According to government data, the life sciences sector generates around £80.7 billion turnover nationally, with 6,300 business across the UK, including more than 550 in the West Midlands, which is also the largest medical device cluster in the UK. 

The collaboration will help to deliver NatWest’s ambition of supporting start-ups, high-growth businesses and the wider economy by working in collaboration with like-minded institutions.  

The partnership will see NatWest and PHTA work to jointly support the region’s entrepreneurs, giving them access to state of the art labs and technology, a wide range of clinical research, trials and health data. 

Entrepreneurs will also benefit from bespoke business building advice from NatWest and sector specialists and coaching on all aspects business skills, from leadership to pitching and finding funding opportunities.

Professor Gino Martini, PHTA’s CEO, explained: “What we aspire to create at PHTA is a truly multidisciplinary ecosystem where academics, clinicians and entrepreneurs can co-locate and collaborate. 

“Our advanced suite of facilities has been custom-designed to support life sciences companies to start up, scale up and flourish. We’re keen to open discussions with businesses who wish to work with our key opinion leaders in a vast array of clinical specialties, and those who are excited by the opportunity to collaborate with other like-minded businesses for patient benefit.”

James Powell, Regional Enterprise Director at NatWest, added:  “We are incredibly excited to be collaborating with PHTA and the University of Birmingham to support the wider regional business ecosystem through this partnership. 

“We know that the region is already a hotbed of talent and innovation in bioscience and medical tech and there are some amazing high-growth businesses that will benefit from the specialist support that this partnership can bring. We look forward to working with PHTA as we create a vibrant partnership to support businesses to thrive in this exciting sector.”

The NatWest Accelerator hub in Birmingham is part of a network of 13 hubs run by the bank to support businesses to grow and thrive. The network is one of the largest of its kind across the UK and over the past four years, the programme has supported more than 3,500 individuals and businesses, helping them achieve an average turnover of £301,521 and to raise £198m in total investments.

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