On 27th April Edwina Hart, Welsh Minister for Economy, Transport and Science and Kieran Murphy, President and CEO of GE Healthcare Life Sciences opened the Life Sciences Innovation Village, a campus for growing businesses, in Cardiff.
The first phase of the venture, originally announced in March at BioWales 2015 by GE Healthcare Life Sciences’ Chief Technical Officer Ger Brophy, has space for up to 12 growing life sciences businesses.
Ger explained: “We can support these businesses with our technical expertise and help them to scale up as they develop. At the same time, we can potentially access promising new technologies that could complement our own. GE Healthcare has a strong history with Cardiff. We have a site that has seen significant research and development over the last 30 years, as well as strong links with Cardiff University.”
This Innovation Village follows in similar footsteps to GE Healthcare’s Innovation Village set up in 2014 in Helsinki which was dedicated to start-ups in digital health. The Cardiff Innovation Village, targeting growing businesses, aims to combine elements of creativity, research and commercial prowess to create a whole greater than the sum of its parts.
Justin John, Director of the Innovation Village says: “We’re hoping to nurture these businesses so that they not only continue with their innovative ideas but can also translate their creativity sustainably to the global market.”
Edwina Hart, Welsh Minister for Economy, Transport and Science said: “GE Healthcare is to be congratulated on its drive to promote Open Innovation and support the growth of innovative young businesses that have the potential to make a real impact on the sector, the economy and the health and well-being of people.
“It offers growing businesses a tremendous opportunity to access the innovation of GE Healthcare Life Sciences’ global ecosystem and benefit from the company’s extensive expertise in all areas of business.
“The life sciences are one of our key sectors and I am delighted that GE Healthcare – one of our anchor companies – is supporting our efforts to grow and expand the sector, helping to make Wales one of the best locations in the UK for life science businesses.”
More than 50 businesses, including ones from other countries, have made enquiries about setting up at the Village since it was announced. Cardiff seems to be entering a golden age for small life sciences businesses. Thanks to the Innovation Village, these entrepreneurs have the chance to collaborate with seasoned experts looking to innovate in new and exciting ways.