New lab space for early-stage life science businesses

Research laboratory

Discovery Park has opened CoLab, a new shared lab facility in the UK. In partnership with Canterbury Christ Church University, CoLab has been designed for early-stage life science businesses, providing flexible bench space in a coworking environment.

Dr Cornelia Wilson, Senior Lecturer and Academic Laboratory Director at Canterbury Christ Church University, said: “Finding lab space is too often a blocker for promising life science spin outs and start-ups, and CoLab exists to solve this. This specialist lab offers flexible and cost-effective space in a collaborative environment, with a dedicated lab technician onsite to provide expert advice and remove the stress of lab management.”

CoLab tenants benefit from being located at Discovery Park, a life science community with an on-site Barclays Eagle Lab, giving access to free business mentoring and investors. Discovery Park also has an onsite innovation team and its own investment fund, Discovery Park Ventures.

Collaboration and support

Reza Salimi, Co-Founder at RS & RS Scientific and CoLab tenant, said: “Being based at the CoLab provides us with invaluable opportunities for collaboration and business support. The Discovery Park team members are very supportive, enhancing our experience and helping us grow. The location in Kent also means we are close to both Europe and London, allowing us access to everything we need and to expand into future markets.”

Renos Savva, Head of Innovation at Discovery Park, said: “CoLab provides tailored space and resources for emerging life science businesses, but importantly also a network of like-minded innovators. This latest industry-academia partnership with Canterbury Christ Church University demonstrates how Discovery Park provides a community for visionary entrepreneurs and leaders, and the ideal environment for businesses to start, scale and succeed.”

Finding lab space is a key challenge for new life science companies. In London, available lab space makes up less than 25% of current demand, with the capital seeing a 61% increase year-on-year in new company incorporations.

Megan Thomas, Multimedia Editor, DDW

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