Plug and play with the University of Birmingham and The BioHub
- Published: Thursday, 07 May 2015 10:15
- Written by National Centre for Universities and Business
Case study by University of Birmingham
The BioHub Birmingham® is the first purpose built facility of its kind in the UK. This pioneering project is looking to develop the city’s burgeoning healthcare economy.
At the heart of the region’s medical cluster
The BioHub* is a £7 million project funded by the University of Birmingham in collaboration with the City Council and the European Regional Development Fund. It is situated in the heart of the Edgbaston Medical Quarter on Birmingham Research Park and has an enviable location, approximately two miles from the centre of the city, adjacent to the University of Birmingham and the new Queen Elizabeth Hospital.
This unique position makes The BioHub the best location in the West Midlands for young ‘high growth’ companies that need access to both the best research minds and the biggest markets in this part of the UK.
'Plug and play'
The concept of ‘plug and play’ space is catching on fast in the US biotech sector and is being hailed as the perfect way to drive innovations into the global healthcare sector. The BioHub offers start-up ventures access to affordable wet-lab space and advanced research equipment, alongside business support services, and gives biotech entrepreneurs everything they need to transform their bright ideas into solid commercial reality.
Patients to benefit as The BioHub Birmingham®
“The BioHub was like an oasis for us, because it could provide exactly what our start-up needed at its fledgling stage. Our presence there has been a door-opener for us, allowing us to attract seed investors and strategic partners, we also became eligible to apply for EU grants.” Miklós Weszl, NanoTi founder
Patients needing dental implants or joint replacements could have fewer post-operation infections, meaning fewer would require repeat surgery, as a result of new technology coming to Birmingham. NanoTi, a Hungarian start-up company specialising in surface treatment for titanium dental and orthopaedic implants to combat infection, has been announced as the first organisation to reserve space in The BioHub.
In the past 10 years the incidence of bone implant related infections has increased rapidly, especially in the case of dental implants. At the same time, the prevailing treatment – antibiotics – has lost effectiveness due to the increasing resistance of bacteria.
Using an innovative proprietary electrochemical process, the NanoTi technology enables implant manufacturers to change the surface of titanium implants in a way that reduces the risk of post-operative infection. Implant manufacturers can either retrofit NanoTi equipment to their production lines or buy the surface treatment services directly from NanoTi.
Having secured funding to expand their growing business, NanoTi founders Miklós Weszl and Krisztian Toth, set about looking for premises at which to locate their UK office, and initially took up a Virtual Tenancy at Birmingham Research Park. The new building then became the focus of their attention.