Brief: To identify the best use of a site on Oxford Road that would take advantage of a gap in current facilities provision that could link in to both R&D and business activity, and with relevance for global growth markets.
Approach: IDM was tasked with identifying non-Life Science opportunities in the Oxford Road area, close to the University of Manchester, that could be developed to boost business growth and attract high-quality tenants. This investigatory work was intended to provide options for consideration should the project proceed. We conducted an analysis that looked at research activity and investment in the chosen area. Whilst Life Sciences is a big global industry, it was clear that the area in question was well catered for with additional facilities already in development. Using a data-led approach enabled a rapid and accurate review of hundreds of thousands of research articles and patents, and together with a view of the local business-base, identified key target industries with the requisite skills base and investment to support new facilities.
Conclusion: Our results showed that there were three main, non-Life Science industries to consider when identifying new facilities options for the Oxford Road site. These were Transport Technologies, Energy Technologies and Internet of Things. These three areas are not only complementary, but were underpinned by strong research capability with high numbers of patents filed locally; over 800 local businesses in the sectors of which 507 were micro businesses that could benefit from a new facility; and a commitment of over £200M of public investment into research in these areas from public sources.
Impact: Identified options informed decision making as to the future use of the Oxford Road site.