The new White City Innovation District is becoming Britain’s best destination for scientists after Hammersmith and Fulham helped attract more than £1.5bn in business investment.

Life science firms represent a third of the £5.2bn invested locally – with White City now home to pharmaceutical giant Novartis, Autolus, GammaDelta and Synthace.

Speaking at the recent life sciences summit (Jawdrop) at the White City Innovation District, H&F leader Stephen Cowan said: “As part of our commitment to turn White City into a global economic hotspot in science, tech, engineering, maths, medicine and media, we’ve attracted anchor institutions, and have had 60 life science start-ups and scale-ups move to White City.

“We’ve changed our planning rules so businesses can afford flexible office space. And we are changing our housing policies to try and prioritise whom we house locally and build things for.

“The idea is if we create a centre of gravity where excellence happens, we think that we can become the next Silicon Valley of the 21st century.”

The White City Innovation District played host to the first-ever Jawdrop Summit for the life sciences earlier this month, with close to 400 attendees from across the UK innovation ecosystem gathering at the Molecular Sciences Research Hub to hear insights from world-leading scientists and technologists driving cutting-edge research in life sciences, deep tech and AI.

The sold-out event was opened by Professor Mary Ryan, Imperial College London Vice-Provost (Research and Enterprise). In her speech, Professor Ryan highlighted the success of Imperial’s partnership with the London Borough of Hammersmith and Fulham – which led to the creation of the White City Innovation District – and the unique strengths of WCID’s community in working together to “make a lasting and positive impact for those who live and work in White City.”

 She concluded by paying tribute to the District’s emergence as a global innovation hub and its now pivotal role in supporting the success of breakthrough industries, innovative public services, and ground-breaking scientific research.



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