Yorkshire attracts major investment in healthcare technologies

2 March 2009

New research reveals that investments in the Yorkshire and Humber region over the past two years account for nearly 10% of all first-round investments in to healthcare technology companies in the UK.

The figures were revealed at the launch of a new three-year Access to Finance programme for healthcare technology companies in the region.

The programme, worth £1.8 million, forms part of the ongoing strategy of Yorkshire Forward, the regional development agency, to support the development of the healthcare technologies industry in the Yorkshire and Humber region.

Up to 300 businesses are eligible to benefit from the programme, which will provide the knowledge, advice, tools and resources needed to access equity funding from national and international investors.

Sir Chris O’Donnell, the Sheffield-born former CEO of Smith & Nephew gave the keynote address at the event in front of more than 150 of the region’s key players in the sector. He outlined the current and future market trends within the sector and said: “I am delighted to have the opportunity to express my support for the Access to Finance Programme. I remain convinced that the healthcare technologies industry has a bright future with a growing demand for new solutions to clinical and patient needs.

“In Yorkshire and the Humber we have a concentration of clinical, academic and commercial expertise that has the capability to deliver innovative solutions and provide excellent returns for those with the vision and resources to provide the investment required. And, most importantly, we have Yorkshire’s independent spirit, which sees us through in the face of adversity and economic uncertainty.”

For investors, the programme will provide a pipeline of attractive prospective investments between £50,000 and £5m.

The report, commissioned by Grant Thornton and carried out by the Library Group, is a comprehensive appraisal of the investment history and opportunities for the healthcare technologies sector in the region. The report identifies that whilst the venture capital market is strained in the current economic climate, healthcare technology companies are amongst the best placed to access the opportunities still on offer.

“Some companies will be 99% ready to go to market and will just need support to refine their proposals,” explains Yorkshire Forward Assistant Director of Business Alex McWhirter. “Others will be just starting out on their journey and can benefit from a tailored package of support that will put them in the best possible position to access finance once the money markets are flowing more easily.

“Our intelligence indicates that companies are more likely to attract investment once they have reached proof of concept stage and registered their intellectual property on an idea — which is something that this programme can help with.”

The programme is open to all Yorkshire and Humber based SME companies and entrepreneurs in the healthcare technology sectors — namely pharmaceutical, medical device, nutraceutical and medical biotechnology.

Programme manager Phil Whaley of Grant Thornton said: “The success of the launch event demonstrates the level of interest in the region for healthcare technology related investment. There are more than 300 Yorkshire-based businesses operating in the sector, from start ups to established companies, which makes the region an attractive proposition for potential investors.

“This programme supports the sustained effort needed by the region to establish and finance start ups and support companies seeking growth. Interested parties should register on the programme now to capitalise on the opportunities presented by both national and international investors.”

Participating companies will receive ongoing support and assistance, moving through a structured programme starting with a recruitment and induction phase, followed by a market and technology assessment, investment readiness workshop, mentoring, and focused investor introductions.

Overview of the healthcare technology capital market

The consortium delivering the Access to Finance programme has also released a report on The Healthcare Technology Venture Market in Europe, UK and Yorkshire & Humber.

The report contains detailed information on the market and recent venture capital deals. It can be downloaded as a PDF file (link is too long to display)

More information on the Access to Finance programme

The new programme will be delivered by Grant Thornton, BITECIC and Quotec and information can be accessed via a dedicated website www.investinginhealth.co.uk

Interested companies, investors and business support providers can register their interest on the site.

Bookmark this page

To top