Life Sciences

Delving into Life Sciences

The D2N2 LEP area is home to 56% of the total East Midlands' medical technologies cluster, which is the third largest in the UK. This cluster is growing in number through the support of Life Sciences incubators such as Medilink East Midlands , the Life Sciences industry association responsible for the rapid development of growing scientific businesses.

EMB Chalice HR 21  

Chalice Medical in Worksop - Designs and manufactures equipment used in heart surgery

New BioCity  

BioCity Nottingham - The city's largest Life Sciences businesses incubator

The Life Sciences sector is broad ranging and includes a number of key areas looking into sub-sciences such as biological innovation, sports science development, biochemistry and pharmaceutical research. Demand in the Life Sciences sector is being driven by developing technologies, aging and a more diverse population, as well as a growing global wealth. The sector is strategic for Nottingham's economy, where it is a key driver for innovation.  The D2N2 LEP area is home to over 200 medical technology firms.

The D2N2 LEP's area is home to some of the largest Life Sciences businesses, including Walgreen Boots Alliance and Pennine Healthcare. As well as these large businesses we are home to significant business incubators such as MediCity Nottingham and BioCity Nottingham.

BioCity is the largest collective space for bio-science firms with laboratory space for businesses to work in to develop their product, research and further their business in a productive environment. The BioCity Nottingham site was expanded in 2017 with the opening of the £30million BioCity Discovery building, which received £6.5m in Local Growth Fund support from the D2N2 LEP. It is estimated this new building will create up to 700 Life Sciences jobs over the next 30 years.

Boots UK headquarters are based on the Nottingham Enterprise Zone, Boots site, in Nottingham. Manufacturing pharmaceutical products is the historical roots of the business which employs a large number of staff onsite (c.11,000 staff[1]). It is a nationally significant sector and provides an opportunity for niche producers and university spin-out companies.

The manufacture of medical and wearable devices, whilst a relatively small sub-sector, is a particularly high value sub-sector of manufacturing with a high level of R&D activities.

Employment 2012: 7,200 (BRES)

[1] Please note, employment at Walgreen Boots Alliance does not fall within our definition of the Life Sciences sector and is classified as ‘Dispensing chemist in specialist stores’ in the Standard Industrial Classification codes

Through the D2N2 Growth Hub and the UI4G (Unlocking Investment for Growth) programme a number of businesses have been supported within the sector and these case studies are linked below:


D2N2 Growth Hub

The Ear Foundation

Chalice Medical



INSTILS (Inspiring Networking to Stimulate Technological Innovation in Life Sciences)

Through the INSTILS programme - part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) and the East Midlands Academic Health Science Network - Medilink East Midlands offers support to Life Sciences small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) to develop innovative products, services and processes. This includes providing:

  • Innovation Support Grants of up to £20,000, to procure external suppliers or to engage new specialist staff.
  • Med Tech Trials Grants of up to £50,000, to support clinical trials and evaluation of new products.
  • Specialist Networking Grants of up to £3,000, to help overcome barriers to engaging in sector specific events.

For more information, contact Medilink East Midlands on 0115 822 3154 or email:

Support from the INSTILS team is free, impartial and confidential.

INSTILS is a project part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF). The total cost of the project is £7,393,742, of which £3,696,871 is from the ERDF; part of the wider (circa) €250million in European Union funding originally allocated to the D2N2 Local Enterprise Partnership, as part of the LEP's European Structural and Investment Funds programme (2014-2020).


LogoERDF Col Landscape