Alex Philippidis Senior News Editor Genetic Engineering & Biotechnology News

Find out where startups get started in the EU.

The European Union recognizes 24 official and working languages, yet many of them use the same English words, like “incubator” and “accelerator” and “innovation center” to communicate a business center dedicated to housing, equipping, funding, supporting, and/or just nurturing biotechnology and pharmaceutical startups.

However similar their names, the places differ widely in what they offer startups—small or large space? Individual or common labs, or both? Give seed/early-stage money, or just refer startups to government programs or other sources of funds?

Following is a list of 20 incubators serving biotechnology and pharmaceutical startups, unranked and listed in alphabetical order of country, and based on information furnished by the companies on their websites and other publicly available material, including their LinkedIn and Twitter pages and press announcements.

Each incubator is listed with its address, phone number, website address, manager or other contact person where disclosed, a description of its space, its number of companies where disclosed, and access afforded companies to resources beyond lab equipment.


Bio-incubator Leuven

Address: Gaston Geenslaan 1, 3001 Leuven (Heverlee) (within Arenberg Science Park)

Phone number: +32 16 75 13 00


Contact person: Michael De Blauwe, general manager

Space: Joint venture between VIB, KU Leuven, and AVEVE group; 80,000 square feet, to be expanded with third building. Space consists of multifunctional ventilated office and L3 lab space, as well as general and technical, logistical, and environment-technical support, to young R&D intensive companies deemed to have high growth potential in life sciences. Includes of 12 “Bio-Incubator I” modules of 250 square meters (2,691 square feet), 24 “Bio-Incubator II” modules of 125 square meters (1,345 square feet) and another 24 “Bio-Incubator III” modules of 125 square meters (1,345 square feet). Coupling of multiple modules is possible.

Number of companies: Eight resident companies and institutions listed online

Resources: Access to support from a facility manager for technical and infrastructure needs; meeting rooms & facilities

Opened: 2008; second building completed 2011

Flemish Institute for Biotechnology (VIB) Bio-incubator Gent

Address: Technologiepark 4, 9052 Gent (within Zwijnaarde Technology Park of the Ghent University)

Phone number: +32 9 244 66 11


Contact person: Dirk Iserentant, invention analyst, VIB

Space: More than 80,000 square feet in a building consisting of a multi-user area and 24 units of approximately 2,700 square feet each. Tenants can get access to one or more units on flexible terms. Features six to seven air-conditioned laboratories, conforming to bio-safety Class 2 activities and easily upgradable to bio-safety Class 3 activities.

Number of companies: 10 companies listed online

Resources: Access to multi-user area with meeting rooms, kitchen, canteen, and reception

Opened: 2006


Address: Agoralaan building Abis, B-3590 Diepenbeek

Phone number: 0032 11 28 69 00


Contact person: Nico Vandervelpen, managing director

Space: An initiative of the venture capital group LRM, with support from the Belgian province of Limburg and Hasselt University; more than 1,600 square meters (17,222 square feet) of flexible and high-quality infrastructure ranging from shared one-person desks or bench space to 350 square-meter (3,767-square-foot) tailor made private lab and office modules. Later this year, BioVille will open an additional 2,000 square meters (21,528 square feet) of incubation space, including 12 technology units, meeting facilities, and social areas. Office infrastructure ranges from a shared one-person desk in a fully equipped flex-office, individual office modules of more than 20 square meters (215 square feet), to office floors of 500 square meters (5,382 square feet). Organizations that have outgrown the incubation phase and requiring specific infrastructure such as production facilities can be accommodated with tailor-made facilities

Number of companies: 21 companies listed online

Resources: Access to core facilities, central service facility, fully equipped meeting accommodating up to 10 people, and a seminar room holding up to 70 people; access to professional advice and networking. Companies outgrowing the space have access to support in finding an appropriate location and specialized infrastructure that can be used for R&D, commercial activities or production.

Opened: 2012; expansion planned 2014

Czech Republic


Address: Kamenice 34, 625 00 Brno-Bohunice (part of South Moravian Innovation Centre [JIC] Innovation Park, next to Masaryk University campus)

Phone number: +420 511 205 320


Contact person: Zdenek Rucka, life sciences specialist

Space: 2,000 square meters (21,528 square feet) of laboratories and offices

Number of companies: Three biopharma companies and two software companies serving biopharma clients listed online. Companies selected through competitive process. Companies must have “innovative” products or services, generate revenue of less than CZK 10 million (about $500,000), have at least one paying customer, “are ambitious and aim to be market leaders in their fields, at least at a national level,” and must not be older than three years.

Resources: Unlimited access to two separate laboratories. Access to financial support for business plans, R&D, expansion into new markets, improved services, or running costs. Small loans of up to CZK 400,000 (about $20,000) via patent and licensing funds. Grants or “innovation vouchers” of up to CZK 150,000 (about $7,600) toward the purchase of services from one the Brno Universities. Access to consultation via internal team or a range of external mentors, contacts at strategic companies and organizations both at home and abroad, as well as 10 hours of meeting room hire per month free of charge.

Opened: 2008


Lille-Eurasante Bio Incubator

Address: 310 avenue Eugène Avinée, Eurasante Bio-business Park, 59120 Loos

Phone number: +33 (0)3 28 55 90 60


Contact person: Etienne Vervaecke, general manager of Eurasanté

Space: Economic development agency focused exclusively around life sciences and health; 2,000 square meters of laboratories, offices, and shared facilities

Number of companies: 59 companies created, 97 projects supported

Resources: Access to up to €100,000 (about $138,000) in pre-seed financing, designed to fund studies to reinforce project feasibility from scientific, technical, legal, and financial standpoints. Access to up to €1 million (almost $1.4 million) in seed financing.

Opened: 2000 following certification in 1999


Bio City Leipzig

Address: Technologietransfergesellschaft mbH, Deutscher Platz 5a, D – 04103 Leipzig

Phone number: +49 (0) 341 2 12 07-0


Contact person: Gerald Böhm, Ph.D., managing director

Space: 215,000 square feet of individual laboratory and office facilities

Number of companies: 24 companies and service providers listed online

Resources: Access to financial support. On-site presence of Center for Biotechnology and Biomedicine (BBZ) of Leipzig University, where scientists from six faculties carry out basic and applied research, focusing on therapy and diagnostics in the fields of biomedicine, tissue engineering, and molecule design.

Opened: 2003

BioInnovationsZentrumDresden (BioInnovationCenter Dresden)

Address: Tatzberg 47, D-01307 Dresden

Phone number: +49 351 796 3030


Contact person: Gundi Hoelzer-Czech, location manager

Space: Joint venture of the TechnologieZentrumDresden GmbH (TZD) and the Technische Universität Dresden. About 10,000 square meters (107,639 square feet) of lab space for startups specializing in molecular bio-engineering.

Number of companies: Tenants are among the 100 companies within the TechnologieZentrumDresden, of which the center is one location; 11 companies listed as BioCenter residents by European Business Network

Resources: Presence of Biotechnology Centre (Biotec) and the Medical Theoretical Centre, institutes of the Dresden University of Technology

Opened: 1993

Biotechnologie Park Luckenwalde

Address: Im Biotechnologiepark, TGZ I, 14943 Luckenwalde

Phone number: +49 3371 681-100


Contact person: Christoph Weber, department manager

Space: Owned by the Structural and Economic Development Corp. of the District of Teltow-Flaeming (SWFG mbH). 9,000 square meters (96,875 square feet) for technology and business companies, including 4,000 square meters (43,056 square feet) of labs and 2,900 square meters (31,215 square feet) of offices within 28-acre campus. lab space suitable for S2 genetic work.

Number of companies: 25 companies and institutions listed online

Resources: Access to common facilities, central utilities, conference and seminar rooms, office services, clean rooms, as well as a range of consultation and services, and a cooperative network with universities, technical colleges, and hospitals in the Greater Berlin/Brandenburg area

Opened: 2011


Bio Industry Park Silvano Fumero

Address: Via Ribes 5, Colleretto Giacosa, Torino Italia 10010; branch office in Naples on Via Mezzocannone, 16 inside the Federico II University labs

Phone number: +39 0125 561311


Space: 17,000 square meters (about 183,000 square feet) of laboratories, offices and pilot production plants. A separate 1,100 square-meter (11,840-square-foot) block housing the University of Turin's Advanced Methodologies Integrated Laboratory. A 1,000-square-meter (10,764-square-foot) bioincubator building for small startups, and 3,000 square meters (32,292 square feet) dedicated to the service center with a congress hall, meeting rooms, offices, guest accommodation, and a cafeteria.

Number of companies: 42 companies, five research institutions, and six associations listed online

Resources: Access to services of Able Biosciences, which provides GLP scientific services to tenants designed to support the research and development of drugs, biologics, and biosimilars, from preclinical to clinical stages advanced, including life cycle management. Access to conference area consisting of two main rooms (one seating 150 people, the other 70), four smaller meeting rooms suitable for training courses, workshops, and board meetings, and two multi-purpose areas for displays, exhibitions, refreshments, concerts, and social gatherings.

Opened: 1998 as Bioindustry Park Canavese (BiPCa); renamed 2009 in honor of its founder Silvano Fumero, manager and scientist who died prematurely in 2008


Lund Life Science Incubator

Address: Medicon Village, Scheelevägen 2 223 81 Lund

Phone number: +46 (0)70 309 18 68


Contact person: Örjan Norberg, CEO

Space: Three-phase incubator program focused on startup, development and growth; square footage unavailable but focused on housing early-stage life sciences companies in specialties such as pharmaceutical, diagnostics, biotechnology, nanomedicine, chemistry, and materials as well as medical technology, nanotechnology, and food technology. Part of the Swedish national incubator program Business Incubation for Growth Sweden (B.I.G. Sweden), run by Almi Företagspartner.

Number of companies: 22 companies listed online

Resources: Access to all common facilities including conference rooms, meeting rooms, lunch rooms, and instrument lab with common instruments; guidance and training on instruments and management of regulations; coaching and providing decision support in business development and management functions; databases for analysis, patenting and chemical data; and agreements for discounted purchases of goods and services.

Opened: 2007 as Ideon Bioincubator

Uppsala Innovation Centre

Mailing address: Uppsala Science Park SE-751 83 Uppsala, Sweden

Visiting address: Dag Hammarskjölds väg 10 B, Uppsala, Sweden

Phone number: +46 (0)18-477 04 40


Contact person: Per Bengtsson, CEO

Space: Owned jointly by STUNS, Uppsala municipality, SLU Holding AB, and Uppsala University Holding Company (UUAB). Part of the Swedish national incubator program Business Incubation for Growth Sweden (B.I.G. Sweden), run by Almi Företagspartner. Square footage unavailable.

Number of companies: Around 50 companies selected in 2011/2012

Resources: Access to five different UIC Business programs (Start, Agile, Lab, Prep, and Accelerator), each suitable for businesses within different phases of idea commercialization. Access to about 50 business coaches, all connected to UIC and its virtual bioincubator, Uppsala BIO-X

Opened: 2004

United Kingdom

BioCity Group


Contact person: Glenn Crocker, D.Phil, CEO

Number of companies: 89 companies and institutions listed online across all incubators

BioCity Nottingham

Address: Pennyfoot Street, Nottingham, NG1 1GF

Phone number: 0115 912 4210


Contact person: Toby Reid, director

Space: 129,000 square feet of small, flexible laboratory and office units, as well as and grow-on space for developing biotechnology and healthcare companies of between one and 80 employees. Four types of space available, including an Innovation Centre for early stage and smaller businesses, the Stewart Adams building for a range of businesses, particularly those with a focus on chemistry, and the Laurus building for larger businesses. Virtual tenancy for access to all BioCity offers, without having a physical lab or an office space.

Number of companies: More than 70 resident companies and institutions

Resources: Access to finance and funding capital; access to Biotel, a generically equipped laboratory suite within BioCity that can be leased on a daily basis by companies on or off-site, most commonly for research, demonstration or training purposes; and access to intranet, including a calendar of events and activities. Online advertising of job vacancies.

Opened: 2003. BioCity Nottingham is a former BASF facility donated in 2001 to Nottingham Trent University, which joined with the University of Nottingham and East Midlands Development Agency to redevelop the site into the first BioCity incubator.

BioCity Scotland

Address: Bo'Ness Road, Newhouse, Lanarkshire, ML1 5UH (former MSD research facility at Newhouse)

Phone number: 01698 539 607


Contact person: Fraser Black, director

Space: Joint venture with Roslin BioCentre. More than 130,000 square feet of high specification chemistry and biology laboratories and office space, available for rent to companies in the bioscience, pharmaceutical, medtech, and healthcare industries. Range of laboratory suites with offices for early-stage or smaller businesses, flexi-lab areas (either wet-lab, office or a combination) for larger businesses that can expand and are available in a range of fit-out options, custom-built spaces, and virtual tenancy offering access to BioCity services without having a physical lab or office space.

Number of companies: 20 companies and institutions listed online

Resources: Access to equipment available to rent, as well as a central lab services facility and meeting and conference facilities designed to accommodate events of up to 180 people.

Opened: 2012

BioCity MediCity

Address: D6 Building West, Thane Road, Nottingham, NG90 6BH (site of former Boots International headquarters, within Nottingham Enterprise Zone)

Phone number: +44 (0) 115 8961980


Contact person: David Browning, director

Space: Collaboration between Alliance Boots and BioCity. 100,000 square feet available designed for startups in diagnostics, as well as consumer healthcare, medical technology, and beauty products. Offices from 150 square feet to more than 1,000 square feet; smaller “pods” of 50 square feet. Virtual office package available for companies interested in establishing a commercial base in Nottingham, but are not yet ready to take on a physical laboratory or office.

Number of companies: Five companies and service providers listed online

Resources: Access to industry professionals, investment, specialist business support services, group purchasing scheme (OBN), Next-Business Generation (NBG) Accelerator program based at BioCity, events, internal newsletters and intranet, business support services, and on-site services that include lab service and access to meeting rooms at a 50% discount within the Meeting Space and access to informal meeting space.

Opened: 2013

BioHub at Alderley Park

Address: Alderley Edge, Cheshire, SK10 4TG

Phone number: +44 (0) 1625 514000


Contact person: Ned Wakeman, BioHub director

Space: Former AstraZeneca campus repositioned for early-stage and growing bioscience companies, managed on the company’s behalf by BioCity, and acquired March 2014 by Manchester Science Parks. 36,000 square feet of laboratory and office facilities in a range of sizes for early-stage and growing firms engaged in innovative drug discovery and development; virtual work space also available. AstraZeneca announced plans in January to expand BioHub into two further buildings totaling an additional 50,000 square feet of laboratory and office space.

Number of companies: 25 companies listed online

Resources: Access to a program of business learning and networking events designed to strengthen the BioHub community. Onsite network of corporate partners. A group of local companies with expertise in the life science sector to offer BioHub tenants legal, IP, and accountancy support services. Communal meeting and social spaces within a modern atrium style facility.

Opened: 2013

Johnson & Johnson Innovation Centre

Address: 1 Chapel Place, London, W1G OBJ

Phone number: Inquiries are directed to [email protected].


Contact person: Patrick Verheyen, head

Space: Focuses on accelerating early innovation and enhancing opportunities for collaboration and investment across J&J’s global pharmaceutical, medical device and diagnostics, and consumer healthcare businesses. London center is one of three existing J&J Innovation centers worldwide (the others are in Menlo Park, CA, with a satellite office in La Jolla, CA, and Cambridge, MA); a fourth J&J Innovation center is set to open later this year in Shanghai. Square footage unavailable.

Number of companies: Two collaborations announced in January: J&J Innovation joined Bioceros on an agreement to license a monoclonal antibody directed at an undisclosed immune checkpoint modulator to J&J-owned Janssen Pharmaceuticals; J&J Innovation also joined Johnson & Johnson Development in an investment of an undisclosed amount in TopiVert, a company focused on developing topical medicines for inflammatory diseases of the gut and eye based on NSKI (narrow spectrum kinase inhibitor) technology.

Resources: Access to house science and technology professionals with expertise in developing new products; access to business professionals with local capabilities to make deals and display flexibility in deal structures designed to match early-stage opportunities.

Opened: 2013

University of Manchester Innovation Centre (UMIC)

Address: The Incubator Building, 48 Grafton Street, Manchester, M13 9XX

Phone number: 0161 606 7200


Contact person: Yvonne Loughlin, head of UMIC

Space: Campus consists of Manchester Incubator Building and Core Technology Facility (See below for both), as well as North Campus Incubator for high-tech companies established by the University of Manchester, and One Central Park, a joint venture between Manchester’s three universities, MANCAT and Manchester Science Park that offers higher education programs alongside opportunities for nurturing enterprise and growing businesses.

Number of companies: 15 biotech companies among 66 tenants listed online

Manchester Incubator Building

Address: 48 Grafton Street, Manchester, M13 9XX


Space: 86,500 square feet of bioscience incubator facilities and related infrastructure. Lab space consists of 16 turnkey suites, each 1,000 square feet, comprising fitted out write-up and wet-lab areas, equipped for functioning at ACGM Containment Level 2 with the capability of conversion to Level 3. 

Resources: Access to secondary support equipment, emergency generator and IT support. Conferencing and meeting room facilities including large informal interaction areas

Opened: 1999 as Manchester Bioscience Incubator

Core Technology Facility

Address: 46 Grafton Street, Manchester, M13 9NT


Space: 173,000 square feet of “grow-on” and incubation space for biotechnology and hi-tech start-ups or SMEs, to complement the existing successful Manchester Incubator Building. Four modular laboratories each 2,153 square feet comprising fitted out write-up and wet-lab areas, equipped for functioning at ACGM Containment Level 2 with the capability of conversion to Level 3. Four “flexi-lab” areas each with 5,380 square feet of grow-on space (either wet-lab, office or a combination of both).

Resources: Access to Bioinformatics area for companies specializing in bioinformatics, medical informatics, and all forms of software/computing development and commercialization. Site facilities designed for a fully functional biotech, including shared secondary support equipment, emergency generator and IT support including broadband access. Office areas for SMEs and start-ups; a suite of meeting rooms capable of holding 8, 20, or 50 people; conferencing facilities available for booking by tenants or external users.

Opened: 2006

Previous articleTranslational Imaging Center Opens at MPI Research’s Headquarters
Next articleCancer Vaccines in the Omics Era