How Distinctive Health Technology Capabilities Attract Life Science & Healthcare Companies to Essex

Essex UK Health Technology Cluster

Research team

Essex is a key location, for both businesses and research activities, within the ‘Greater South East England’ life sciences sector. But what’s distinctive about the contribution of Essex companies to this world-leading industry cluster?

A review of Essex-based life science and healthcare companies reveals competencies across health technology-related areas. It’s the convergence of these capabilities in Essex that has led to the development of innovative health technology solutions, by both established businesses and innovative start-ups.


Essex Competency

Health Technology Related Activities


Research, development, manufacture and supply of advanced medical instruments and devices


Research, discovery, development and manufacture of drugs (including biosynthetics, biologics and targeted treatments); genomics; advanced diagnostics and testing.


Analysis related to bioinformatics and genomics; ‘big data’ processing; wireless devices; imaging & diagnostics


Manufacture and supply

Support & Supply Chain

BioTech and MedTech sector supply chain and other business support


A place where advanced technology meets healthcare…

External Robinson buildingIn Essex, there’s a strong culture of Research and Development and the application of advanced technologies across high-value market sectors.  The radio frequency, imaging and semiconductor expertise of Essex-based e2v, which has contributed to the large Hadron Collider and Hubble Telescope projects, is also applied to radiotherapy cancer treatment machines, x-ray systems and life sciences imaging.  Collaboration between Tyco Electronics - world leading experts in sensor technology - and medical device designers, has produced innovative devices for hospital applications and wearable devices for patients.  The electronics consultancy Plextek, which provides solutions for complex engineering challenges, works with companies to solve healthcare problems, applying its expertise to technologies including remote monitoring devices.

In Essex, advanced imaging and ICT expertise is contributing to breakthroughs in drug discovery and development….

Science Village interiorEssex is home to both established pharmaceutical businesses such as GSK and AstraZeneca, with their considerable research and development activities, and to highly innovative agile drug discovery and development companies, such as Charles River Laboratories, Isomerase Therapeutics and Isogenica, which belong to the Cambridge biotech cluster [1]. These companies rely on advanced technologies across areas including ICT/big data, imaging and advanced manufacturing to enable faster, targeted drug discovery and development. 

Niche Biotech companies are also a part of the picture – companies such as Oncologica, specialists in precision oncology testing, and Axol Bioscience, producing specialised human cell cultures and reagents for research.

A dynamic health technology ecosystem…

Chesterford Research ParkEssex’s dynamic health technology ecosystem is supported by the infrastructure businesses need for success and growth. State-of-the-art sites, including Harlow Enterprise Zone and Chesterford Research Park, combine specialised accommodation for health technology companies with fast access to Cambridge, London and global markets. Along with a highly competitive cost base, it’s a recipe that’s proving attractive for growing health technology companies across a range of specialisations.

Find out more

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


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.