Essex UK: At the Heart of the ‘Greater South East England’ Life Sciences and Healthcare Cluster

Essex UK Health Technology Cluster

‘Greater South East England’, comprising the South East, East and London regions, is home to Europe’s largest life sciences cluster - sometimes referred to as the London-Oxford-Cambridge ‘Life Sciences Golden Triangle’.

IlluminaFocused on the world-leading university cities of London, Cambridge and Oxford, the cluster serves industry sub-sectors including biotechnology research and development, healthcare, medical & optical equipment manufacturing and pharmaceutical manufacturing. [1]

Within the cluster area, the county of Essex is becoming increasingly popular as a location for health technology companies. A range of local factors is attracting them there, including direct access to Cambridge and London, state-of-the-art research and technology parks, a highly skilled workforce and excellent connectivity to UK and global markets.

But it's important to view Essex's attractiveness to health technology businesses within the context of the wider, 'Greater South East' life sciences agglomeration. So what is it that makes this cluster world-class? And which are the universities, business and research organisations that companies can access from an Essex base?

The Greater South East England Life Sciences Cluster

External Robinson BuildingFrom a location in Essex, health technology companies can access a wider life sciences cluster that includes:

•           4 of the world’s top-10 ranked universities: University of Cambridge, University of Oxford, University College London (UCL) and Imperial College London [2]

•           2,300 other life sciences businesses [3], including global leaders such as GE Medical, Smith and Nephew, Roche Products, Merck Sharp, Dohme, GlaxoSmithKline and Charles River Laboratories

•           5 of the UK’s 6 Academic Health Science Centres [1]  and leading medical research institutes including the Wellcome Trust, Cancer Research UK and Public Health England

•           The City of London, offering specialist business funding solutions for life sciences and health technology companies

The London-Stansted-Cambridge Corridor

Chesterford Research ParkWithin the Greater South East England cluster, the 'London-Stansted-Cambridge Corridor' is emerging as a key growth area for life sciences companies. Intersecting Essex, the corridor connects Europe's business capital (London) with the UK's leading technology hub (Cambridge). The corridor's assets include 1,400 life sciences businesses, 37 world-class life sciences research institutes and 40% of the UK population qualified to degree level or above. Within Essex itself, key locations include London Stansted Airport, Harlow Enterprise Zone and Chesterford Research Park.

Essex offers distinct location advantages to health technology companies: technologies, skills, space for growth and connectivity. But, just as importantly, it's at the heart of a wider life sciences cluster with truly world-leading credentials.


Contact INVEST Essex to find out more about the Essex UK Health Technology Cluster.


[1] London & Partners –
[2] QS World University Rankings, 2015/16
[3] MedCity -

Dave Russell-Graham
Dave Russell-Graham

Inward Investment Manager (Life Sciences)

+44 (0) 7881 310776


With over 30 years’ experience in the life sciences and healthcare sector Dave has an extensive range of contacts in the industry as well as experience in pharmaceutical development through to facility refurbishment and fit out. Dave’s work has predominantly been with major pharmaceutical companies, and in 2011 he was a key player in the deal between Pfizer and Mylan for Pfizer’s respiratory technology platform. More recently he has worked as the Scientific Development Advisor for Harlow Science Park.