UKSPA Directory 2017 2017-18 - Page 18

018 UKSPA Directory 2017 Putting science parks under the microscope It is time to t hink of t he UK as a singl e , p owerf ul s cience unit Kaleigh Haeg Head of Life Science at Colliers International Kaleigh Haeg leads the life science team at Colliers International. She has in-depth knowledge and extensive experience of the life science sector, having previously worked on the commercial side of the pharmaceutical industry A ll too often we become solely focused on one element of our business and miss the bigger picture. When it comes to commercial property, most agents will tell occupiers and landlords to concentrate on finding the right infrastructure in order to future-proof their business. For too long, the UK life science community has applied this broad brush approach to their real estate, failing to understand the true needs of the end user, who almost always must answer to a more complex mix of market dynamics in order to function well and remain competitive. With Brexit on the horizon, it has never been more important that we look beyond infrastructure and shift our focus to better understanding local, national, and global market dynamics and the impact that these systems have on the ecosystems within our science parks and innovation sites. C R E AT I N G A S C I E N C E PA R K T H AT T H R I V E S There is no simple formula that you can use to create a successful science park. What might work in one location might be totally inappropriate for another. As a starting point, however, a park generally needs to be home to a mix of SMEs, start-ups, and established, industry-leading companies (based both in the UK and abroad); and a large pharma company or research institution is hugely beneficial. But to apply just this rule overlooks the bigger picture. To create a science park that works, the right infrastructure is certainly important, but only if the wider market demands are there to support it. That’s why it is critical that both science park tenants and owners understand the market conditions that affect their park and tailor a realistic strategy to developing