Life science companies based in Kent can access extra support to conquer international markets thanks to a new project launched at Discovery Park.
The Boost4Health (B4H) Project primarily aims to connect Kent’s growing cluster of life science businesses with their counterparts in mainland Europe, but could also give firms the help they need to reach out beyond the continent.
The project is being led locally by Kent County Council, but is funded by the EU with additional backing from BioGateway, the organisation, set up last year as a conduit for partnerships between the UK and European life science networks.
Cllr Mark Dance, KCC Cabinet member for Economic Development, said: “The B4H project will seek to support companies involved in scientific research to take that next step in reaching new markets.
“Exporting can be complex and B4H will provide free support to help Kent firms enter new markets with a focus on pharmaceuticals, bio-technology, medical technology and nutrition.
“It focuses specifically on the life science sector providing tailored, targeted support to help companies overcome barriers to internationalisation.”
Opening the launch event, Paul Wookey, Chief Executive of Locate in Kent, added: “The three year project will help our firms enter new markets and collaborate with new partners through practical and financial support.
“We have no doubt it will help boost local companies and jobs.”
B4H selected Kent’s Discovery Park for its launch on Wednesday, 12 October. The flagship science and technology park remains a centre of excellence for a wide number of sectors, including antibiotics and treatments for cancer using immunotherapy – an area of research already showing great potential.
Paul Barber, Managing Director, Discovery Park: “The launch of B4H was not only a great opportunity to showcase the world-class facilities at Discovery Park, but to give companies based here – many of them in the early stages of their development – access to invaluable support.
“We’re all about collaboration and partnerships here. This project takes that to a continental level, giving the companies based here and across Kent access to expertise across Europe with advice to widen their horizons even further.”
Imran Khan, Chief Executive, BioGateway, said: “The project will formally link Kent to various European Life Science clusters in the Netherlands, Spain, Belgium, France, Germany and Denmark – and will run until 2019.
“It will potentially be one of the last EU funded trade development projects that will run in Kent, but it has the potential to have a lasting impact, building relationships and opportunities that will go beyond Brexit.”
Life Science businesses from Kent and its European partner regions in six European countries will receive free support – including specialist coaching to help with international growth. Other support available will include:
- Opportunities to travel to Life Science events and clusters in mainland Europe to meet with companies and experts who can help with market entry.
- Micro-financing for travel, product validation or other export-related activities
- Opportunities to join a dynamic European Life Science network