BioCity is a groundbreaking healthcare and bioscience innovation and businessfacility in Nottingham City Centre. BioCity is a success story of partnership and co-operation and is the result of an effective collaboration between Nottingham Trent University, the University of Nottingham and the East Midlands Development Agency. It has also received funding support from the Department for BIS, ERDF and Greater Nottingham Partnership.
BioCity Nottingham provides business support, finance, labs & offices to fledgling bioscience, pharmaceutical, med-tech & healthcare companies. It operates one of Europe’s largest bioscience business centres, which is currently home to nearly 70 fast-growing companies, including R&D and business support services.
BioCity invests in early stage life science companies through its subsidiary, Mobius Life Sciences (launched in October 2009), which is the first investment fund in the Midlands region dedicated to the life sciences sector.
After a review of its PR activity, it became clear that, although BioCity had built an excellent profile on a local basis, it lacked the B2B PR industry expertise to successfully take its messages to a wider, national audience. In particular, the board were keen to attract the interest of key influencers in Government, private sector investors and international collaborators.
Working with Integra on a project in 2007, BioCity’s executive board realised that Integra’s reputation in, and knowledge of, the enterprise and business growth PR media could prove invaluable to their plans to grow to become Europe’s largest Bio-incubator.
The PR brief is to tell a diverse audience about the aims, asperations and successes of BioCity and to put Nottingham on the map. The target audiences were identified as:
- Potential tenants
- Nottingham residents
- Nottingham businesses
- Nationals – investors/government/city
- International collaboration
A further part of the brief was to help BioCity’s tenants understand the value of PR and how to use it for their own, individual purposes.
The Campaign 2007 – Present
Relevant stories are identified and targeted at key press including national broadsheets; industry titles including bio and pharmaceutical targets as well as a number of key websites. Aim to achieve comment coverage, articles, news items supported by story photography.
Integra Director, Louise Third delivers PR clinics for the tenants of BioCity to help them use PR as a tool for themselves. Typically, scientists are not interested in using PR. Louise uses her expertise to explain the opportunities available to them and the advantages these could bring to their businesses.
BioCity has seen its national and international profile increase significantly. As BioCity has grown it has achieved coverage of bigger stories in more prominent national and international media. Recently BioCity has achieved coverage in:
- BBC local and national news
- Mail on Sunday
- Financial Times
- European Pharmaceutical Review
- Midlands Business Insider
One of the main success stories involves the creation of new businesses at BioCity after the closure of global pharmaceutical giant, AstraZeneca Charnwood. In March 2010 BioCity responded immediately to the closure plans by offering a package of support to its employees that included training, advice and help with office or lab accommodation. As a result 35 new jobs have now been created, a success which was widely reported on TV and other national media.
“It’s been really great working with Louise. She is very easy to get on with. It’s also obvious that she actually cares about BioCity and its aims. We’re not just a client to her, she’s very much part of our own team and that’s very important to us.” Dr. Glenn Crocker – CEO, BioCity Nottingham