“Build it and they will come” – Addressing the needs of the life science sector

Lifesciences Jan 6 AD Ports GroupIn a series of executive interviews with industry experts in 2021, AD Ports Group has reviewed the key factors that life science companies consider when choosing a location for new operations

With fierce competition, talented and mobile labour, as well as a range of government incentives, these companies are afforded a wealth of international options. What are the most important decision factors that drive office selection outcomes? 

“We want it all, the complete ecosystem – excellent infrastructure, utility networks, and logistics services; access to key healthcare institutions; to be positioned alongside existing health players; and finally, to be right at the heart of the city. That’s what we want,” said one respondent, summing up what many of our interviewees articulated in answer to how the location selection process is determined. 

Experts revealed that life science companies – and all those involved in the ecosystem that supports them – demand the same shortlist of criteria. Specifically: 

• Geostrategic locations that place them within easy reach of key trade markets and local funding.

• Local initiatives that enable them to tap into local talent as well as participate in exciting new projects.

• Superior infrastructure and operational benefits that ensure the smooth flow of the business.

• One-stop-shop service provisioning enabling increased efficiencies are realised and time-to-market is increased.

• Multimodal connectivity which allows for the free flow of goods and people.

Building the right infrastructure 

When considering where to set-up, respondents were of the opinion that a cluster-based zoning model is crucially important to succeed in the life sciences industry.

For starters, companies must be able to form in a simplified and flexible manner and to operate in a 100% foreign ownership model, if they so choose, particularly in manufacturing and processing. Due consideration should be given to any possible duties which might be required to be paid for access to adjacent markets, or on the importation of machinery or raw materials. Tax exemptions and free repatriation should be provided for any foreign direct investor in the life sciences industry.

Abu Dhabi offers multiple zone options, strategically located in logistics hubs. Existing land and facilities infrastructure, such as power and water, is readily available along with a comprehensive facilities management system. For those in life sciences, modular lab spaces with the option to customise and analytical labs, are widely available, and are adjacent to modern office park space, although advanced transport infrastructure remains critical. 

In Abu Dhabi, the Life Sciences Park is home to four major pharmaceutical manufacturers, several labs and supporting services, 16 universities and more than 18 research centres.

Crucially, the zone supports linkages between producers with start-ups, scientists, and universities – creating synergies in new product development, talent cultivation as well as R&D commercialisation. In addition, there are world renowned medical facilities and clinics, and established research laboratories and centres. 

 Find more insights at: White Papers | AD Ports Group


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