Invest ESSEX will be flying the flag for the county at the Biotechnology Innovation Organisation (BIO) International Convention 2018 in Boston, MA from 4-7 June.

Invest ESSEX will be representing the life science clusters in the Eastern region including those in London, Cambridge and the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, as well as Essex. Invest ESSEX will be part of the MedCityLondon & Partners stand at BIO – one of 24 stands covering the UK and Northern Ireland.

Chesterford Research Park BIO

Encouraging companies to locate in Essex

Invest ESSEX has been successful in assisting key industry players to the Chesterford Research Park in Saffron Walden, which offers advanced laboratory and office space for biotechnology and pharmaceutical companies, and has been particularly instrumental in attracting three companies to the facility: Evonetix, Enplas and Arecor

Evonetix, which develops and commercialises a new approach to the synthesis of DNA to facilitate the fast-emerging field of synthetic biology, was recently named by Cambridge Business Weekly as one of the ‘Killer 50’ hottest disruptive technology companies.

Meanwhile Arecor, a UK-based leading formulation technology company developing a portfolio of products to enable improved treatments for diabetes care, will be attending BIO and was listed as a ‘one to watch’ in the same publication.

Among the other successful stories at Chesterford is Domainex, whose COO Tom Mander will be in attendance at BIO. The privately-owned drug discovery services Contract Research Organisation (CRO) was last month named in the second annual top 1000 list of Europe’s fastest growing companies, published by the Financial Times (FT 1000).

Why Essex is a key location in the UK life science cluster

Essex’s location makes it well-placed to collaborate with the Cambridge and London life science clusters, along with all the benefits of having London on its doorstep but without the costs of running a business from the capital.

According to a report published in May 2018 by pharmaceutical giant AstraZeneca, the Cambridge life sciences cluster could contribute an extra £1bn a year to the UK economy by 2032, with up to 6,000 additional jobs being created in that time.

With the Crossrail train project’s Elizabeth Line – running from Shenfield through to Reading – set to open at the end of 2018 and the county’s airports at Stansted and Southend introducing new routes all the time, as well as ports at London Gateway, Tilbury and Harwich, the lure of the county from a business perspective continues to strengthen.

Stansted, at the heart of the London-Cambridge corridor, has plans for a five-year £600m revamp of the airport. Already this year it has launched new flights to New York, Toronto and – in time to transport several BIO delegates – Boston through Primera Air and a new service to Dubai with Emirates in June.

Primera Air, London Stansted Airport, BIO

“London Stansted is a critical economic asset for Essex and its increasing route network is a major attraction to international companies looking to invest and establish a presence in the region. Companies have chosen Stansted because of links to serve their burgeoning European market, while growth and new business at Chesterford Research Park and Harlow Science Park will benefit significantly from new direct US links to the life science clusters centred on Boston and New York.”

David Rooke
Location Services Director

The life sciences sector is heavily reliant on airport facilities, with the speed of air freight delivery crucial for ‘just-in-time’ and high-value goods such as pharmaceuticals.

Also located within the established London-Stansted-Cambridge Corridor, will be the soon-to-open Harlow Science Park, creating a new life sciences facility as part of the Harlow Enterprise Zone.

‘‘As a core infrastructure provision in this corridor, the development of Harlow Science Park provides a major opportunity to service the life sciences, digital health and medical technologies sectors and the objective should be to provide a development that is very much a centre of excellence in these sectors’’

Dave Russell-Graham
Inward Investment Manager
Life Sciences & Healthcare, INVEST Essex

The UK life science offer at BIO

The BIO International Convention is hosted by the Biotechnology Innovation Organisation, which represents more than 1,100 biotechnology companies, academic institutions, state biotechnology centres and related organisations across the United States and in more than 30 other nations.

Baroness Fairhead, the Minister of State for Trade and Export Promotion at the Department for International Trade (DIT), will be spearheading the UK and NI representation at the showpiece convention.

Among the UK activity at BIO is a Genomics Roundtable hosted by MedCity, London & Partners and the BioIndustry Association, along with an on-stand reception at the UK Pavilion on Tuesday 5 June, supported by the UK Department of International Trade and partners; a panel session about the value of addressing antimicrobial resistance (AMR) on Wednesday 6 June.

Harlow Science Park, Bio

‘‘BIO is very much one of the major international events that provides an ideal opportunity to position Harlow Science Park in the thinking of many of the world’s top industry figures, advisors and influencers as part of the UK’s conference pavilion. Aligning Harlow Science Park as a key element of the London-Cambridge-Oxford triangle that is MedCity combined with the very recent re-launch of the London-Stansted-Cambridge corridor as the UK’s Innovation Corridor could facilitate Harlow and Harlow Science Park being positioned right in the middle of the UK’s version of Medical Alley.’’

Dave Russell-Graham
Inward Investment Manager
Life Sciences & Healthcare, INVEST Essex

Invest ESSEX will be represented by Dave Russell-Graham on the MedCity and London & Partners PODs at BIO 2018. To contact Dave, email:

To follow Invest ESSEX’s Twitter coverage of BIO 2018 follow: @investessex

For more information on the Essex life sciences sector see here.

Find out more about the BIO 2018 convention here.


Dave Russell-Graham

+44 (0) 7881 310776

With over 30 years’ experience in the life sciences and healthcare sector Dave has an extensive range of contacts in the industry as well as experience in pharmaceutical development through to facility refurbishment and fit out. Dave’s work has predominantly been with major pharmaceutical companies, and in 2011 he was a key player in the deal between Pfizer and Mylan for Pfizer’s respiratory technology platform. Dave is passionate about growing the sector in Essex be that through foreign direct investment, partnering with the NHS or supporting SMEs.