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A Tech-Bio Love Story: The convergence of tech and life sciences

text graphic tech X bio love story

Throughout our Bruntwood SciTech campuses, we see first-hand how technology is continuing to transform the life sciences sector, most predominantly in healthcare where it has the potential to solve many of the challenges faced by the industry’s systems.

How the development of new technologies is shaping life sciences

Our Director of Life Sciences Dr Kath Mackay plays an active role in developing the support we can provide to the UK’s life science businesses, as well as lobbying for increased funding for the sector and regionalised deals to ensure the government delivers on its promises to level up the UK and reach its £22 billion increased R&D funding by the end of this Parliament. The government’s recent Levelling Up Whitepaper identified both Greater Manchester and the West Midlands as new Innovation Accelerator Zones alongside Glasgow City Region, aligning with our strategic plans for growth in Birmingham and Manchester with the development of Birmingham Health Innovation Campus and ID Manchester. You can read Bruntwood CEO Chris Oglesby’s response to the whitepaper here

As someone deeply embedded in the sector, Kath is able to share a unique insight into how new technologies are continuously influencing the life sciences landscape in areas such as drug discovery, disease prevention and early detection, and personalised medicine.

Drug discovery and development is renowned for being an intensive, long and expensive process. However, the development in artificial intelligence (AI) and machine learning (ML) over the past 10 years have allowed us to use bioinformatic tools to discover new targets. In 2021 for example, methods to diagnose tuberculosis from X-rays using software were deployed, and some of the world’s largest tech and healthcare powerhouses made huge investments into pursuing new medicines using AI applications.

Genomics, 3D printing, robotics and advanced communication solutions also have the potential to help clinicians rise to the challenges of 21st century healthcare. We see examples of this across each of our dedicated life sciences and tech campuses, such as Aptus Clinical, who’s clinical collection and curation infrastructure built to support exploratory research into COVID-19 is now being expanded to assess the utility of patient wearables in a clinical trial recently launched in Greater Manchester: EMBRaCE. Based at our Alderley Park campus, Aptus Clinical is collaborating with Manchester University NHS Foundation Trust, The Christie NHS Foundation Trust and The University of Manchester in the trial, which has been created to test cutting-edge wearable technologies involving patients who have received cancer treatment.

A promising partnership

Despite the incredible advancements we’ve seen in the healthcare industry over the past year as a result of the pandemic and needing pioneering technologies more than ever, we will only see their real potential if we get to a point where these tools become commonplace.

Through true collaboration between universities, hospitals and tech companies, as well as private and public bodies, we’ll see these developments grow at pace and scale and be adopted more rapidly than they otherwise would be, and will result in better healthcare outcomes for the population.

Ultimately, it’s about bringing people with different skills and backgrounds together to realise the potential of medicine’s technological revolution – and create the healthcare system of the future.

Our campuses across Manchester, Leeds, Cheshire, Birmingham, Liverpool and Cambridge are home to over 500 life science and tech companies of all sizes and - as the two continue to converge - we know that the key to realising the potential of the medtech revolution is collaboration. That’s why facilitating these partnerships and connecting our customers with the relevant specialist partners and networks is a priority. The future of life sciences and tech is an exciting one, and we can’t wait to see what happens next.

If you’d like to find out more about our network of innovation districts or how we’re supporting the growth of the UK’s life science and tech businesses, we’d love to hear from you. You can email us at hello.scitech@bruntwood.co.uk or fill in our contact form here.

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