The Babraham Research Campus launches start-up competition for the chance to access its life science bio-incubator, Accelerate@babraham


Life science start-ups are invited to apply for one of up to five prizes that include a cash prize and access to the Babraham Research Campus bio-incubator facilities, plus an additional programme of support from a host of experienced life science academic and commercial experts, including new strategic partner, Eli Lilly.

Launched in January 2018, the objective of Accelerate@Babraham is to support the development of science concepts and the creation of new life science companies by providing access to equipped communal laboratories on short-term agreements, as well as guidance from mentors and introductions to investors. Accelerate@Babraham complements the Babraham Research Campus’ ongoing support of the Cambridge life science cluster through the provision of access to the campus community and infrastructure without the need to be an established occupier on site.

Announced at BIC 2018, the Babraham Research Campus’ annual investor conference on May 22nd, the Accelerate@Babraham Start-ups Competition takes this concept one step further, to give new companies the chance to win up to five spaces on the Accelerate programme for a three-month period from September 2018.

Up to five competition finalists will win access to Accelerate@Babraham’s bio-incubator facilities, including communal equipped laboratory space, flexible workspace within the Babraham Research Campus’ stimulating and supportive environment and access to its community hub which includes office, meeting and social spaces.

In addition, finalists will receive: 

  • £20K non-dilutive funding per venture.
  • 1-2-1 mentoring from world-class science and business experts.
  • Access to the Babraham Research Campus’ highly experienced life science, healthcare, business and investor networks.
  • Access to Accelerate@Babraham’s top quality programme, bespoke training sessions and final Demo Day – all run by practitioners expert in life science and bio-innovation.

In addition to announcing the Start-up Competition, Accelerate@Babraham is also delighted to welcome an additional strategic partner to the programme. Eli Lilly become Accelerate@Babraham’s fifth strategic partner, joining AstraZeneca, MedImmune, One Nucleus and RxCelerate. Collectively the partners have committed to support Accelerate@Babraham occupiers via mentoring and entrepreneurial guidance, in addition to providing strategic guidance regarding the on-going development of the concept.

Dr Tim Luker, Senior Director, Emerging Technology and Innovation, Eli Lilly commented:

“Lilly has a long and successful history of working with key innovators and entrepreneurs. Through cutting-edge science, we’re trying to change the frontiers of what’s possible in medicine. We are delighted to support the Accelerate@Babraham initiative to help build long term relationships with exciting start-ups being formed in the Cambridge region, one of the great global life science clusters.”

Dr Karolina Zapadka, Business Acceleration Manager, Accelerate@Babraham commented: “We are delighted to welcome Lilly on board at the same time as launching our first Start-up Competition for access to the Accelerate@Babraham programme. The competition is open to early stage, life science focused start-ups, be they within therapeutics, synthetic biology, life science tools & technologies, diagnostics, transformative healthcare solutions or digital health. Our ideal candidates are ambitious ventures with a passion for life science and entrepreneurship who are able to commit to joining us in Cambridge for the entire three-month programme. The programme will be fast-paced and immersive but an experience that we hope will be transformative for those chosen to take part.”