‘Whilst the names have changed the DNA of both underpin Pioneer Group’

BioCity Story

Home to more than 200 companies, BioCity was a pioneering life science incubator and business collective.

Not the typical business incubator, BioCity took a holistic approach to business support. Offering entrepreneur coaching, investment, flexible lab and office space and PAYG services within a UK-wide business collective.

Founded in 2002 by the University of Nottingham and Nottingham Trent University. BioCity originated in a former BASF Pharma research facility in Nottingham city centre when the concept of a business incubator offering 360° support within a self-contained location was unheard of. But a small, committed team led by Dr Glenn Crocker MBE, fought hard to turn that idea into reality. A reality now replicated throughout the UK.

BioCity was the first dedicated life science incubator in the UK and has bootstrapped from a “probable white elephant”, as labelled by the Financial Times in 2003, to a “successful lab experiment” (FT 2008), to “one of Europe’s fastest-growing companies” (FT 1000 report 2017) and now one of the most replicated business models within our industry.

Over a 12-year period, BioCity Nottingham-based businesses had a 91% survival rate.

In 2012 BioCity acquired the MSD research facility in Newhouse near Glasgow to create Glasgow, BioCity. This was closely followed by a second site in Nottingham, MediCity, which is located on the Boots campus and is a collaboration with Walgreens Boots Alliance. In 2016 the Newhouse site was further expanded to create Glasgow, MediCity. BioCity also operates at Alderley Park, Cheshire, Aberdeen and Newcastle.

The company has made 29 investments in early-stage companies and delivered healthy growth in portfolio valuation.

The BioCity model of ‘support from inception to incorporation’ initially challenged the industry standard but quickly became the industry leader due to the unprecedented survival rates of BioCity-based businesses.