On Tuesday 7 November 2023, at the offices of Squire Patton Boggs in Leeds, the Life Sciences Real Estate (LSRE) team held its fourth networking event bringing together sector leaders and like-minded professionals from across the UK. The event was aimed at those who are currently involved or looking to invest in the most advanced life sciences sector outside of the Golden Triangle.
Matthew Hopkinson (Managing Director and Co-Founder at Didobi) opened the event with introductions and some scene setting before handing over to Stephen Ryan (Founder of Life Sciences Real Estate) who gave a presentation on UK life sciences in the context of wider Europe and the US. Stephen's presentation was followed by the first of two panel discussions, which Matthew moderated.
The first panel comprised:
- Jenny Broderick, partner and procurement expert at Squire Patton Boggs
- Daren Marjenberg, vice president of sales for EMEA at Yourgene Health
- John Holden, associate vice president for special projects at the University of Manchester
- Sarah Frankland, head of validation and regulatory affairs at Bouygues
- Jane Sillito, deals director at PwC
Below is a summary of our first panel discussion.
The role of Leeds in the wider European life sciences real estate market
Q1. If a global life sciences business had £200 million to invest in Europe, where should it go?
It should go to the Netherlands, the Nordics or the UK, in particular the M62 Corridor (the coast-to-coast motorway, linking Liverpool with Hull) because of the multiple university talent pool and existing expertise. Despite its size, France is seen as potentially challenging because French labour laws effectively mean that the employer is "married to" the employee and this impedes workforce restructuring that might be necessary in the future. Accessing the French market using native French speakers based in the UK is a possible alternative.