South West Life Sciences was created in 2024 by the University of Bristol’s Translational Research Hub.

From our work with researchers developing new medical interventions we know the importance of accessing specialist external skills, services, facilities and data. These can be difficult to find, and location can be an important factor.

The South West is a region with huge potential for growth and investment. It is home to over 370 life sciences companies, and employs approximately 20,000 people in the life sciences sector. The West of England sub region is the third fastest growing life sciences sector in the UK for employment, and its life sciences and technology related ecosystem was valued at £8.1bn in 2022. The South West has made some of the UK’s most exciting advances in life sciences – from accelerating life-saving gene therapy research to launching the UK’s most powerful supercomputer.

However, unlike other regions of the UK, to date the South West has lacked a single regional advocacy body and co-ordinated promotion of its life sciences sector. We recognise the benefits that such organisations bring to other regions, including improving the awareness and connectivity between organisations within the region, and raising the profile of work being done and assets located in the region to key stakeholders such as the government and investors.

Using funds from an existing Wellcome Institutional Translational Partnership Award, we have created this website. It is a first step towards establishing an advocacy organisation for the South West region of England, which will increase the visibility of our region’s life sciences ecosystem. Our current partners are from the Bristol area and in the coming months we will broaden the geography and industries we cover and partner with organisations in the wider region.

The team

Dr Sarah George, Head of the Translational Research Hub

Dr Richard Seabrook, Sector Specialist

Dr Susie Maier, Translational Research Manager

John Halliwell, Head of Impact Development

Rachel Skerry, Communications Manager

Life Sciences excellence map

Image credit: Invest Bristol & Bath