Top 10 Bioincubators for Biotech Startups in Europe


Dr. Maya Raghunandan, freelance science writer on Kolabtree, writes about European bioincubators that provide funding, facilities and mentorship to biotech startups and SMBs. Need to speak to a biotech expert? Find and work with biotechnology researchers and industry experts on Kolabtree. 
Creating a new company is an expensive and challenging long-term endeavor. A biotech startup is no different. The first steps in the initial establishment process can set the right path for the budding business to flourish and succeed. Bioincubators and accelerators can give new biotech businesses the boost they need by offering many basic, essential resources: laboratory space, business mentorships, availability of expert consultants, to name a few. In short, an incubator is a company that helps set up collaborative programs enabling young businesses by providing a space to work and procure seed funding, mentoring, training and other benefits. Typically, bioincubators are run by non-profit organizations like universities, civic groups or government aided bodies. While bioincubators cater to early stage business ideas, a bio-accelerator is more focused on helping scale up late-stage startups.

Listed here are 10 well known European biotech startup incubators and accelerators (in no particular order or ranking) based on publicly available information such as the company websites and material.

1. Bio City Leipzig, Germany

Based in Leipzig, Bio city offers a biotechnological-biomedical center to facilitate economics, science and research to live and work together. Bio City hosts several academic research scientists from Leipzig university and supports the creation of spin off companies, with focus on therapy and diagnostics in the fields of bio-medicine, tissue engineering and molecular design. They also provide access to several mentorship and consultancy services to their residents. Additionally, it offers an outstanding, attractive and innovative environment for existing biotechnology / bio-medicine companies.

2. Flemish Institute for Biotechnology (VIB), Belgium

This Belgian bioincubator, situated in the Arenberg Science Park, is dedicated to startups and established companies, likewise, in biomedical life sciences. VIB bio-incubator provides lab space, general, technical and logistical support, to R&D intensive life sciences companies. The resident companies collaborate closely with several KU Leuven research groups and other knowledge institutes.

3. SMILE Incubator, Sweden

Part of the Swedish national incubator program Business Incubation for Growth Sweden (B.I.G. Sweden), the smile incubator helps entrepreneurs and early-stage companies to commercialize new ideas in life science. Every year the incubator accepts 8 to 10 new companies as members.The resident companies are specialized in pharmaceutical, diagnostics, biotechnology, nanomedicine, chemistry and food technology. The incubator also provides several services for business development including business intelligence, intellectual property, law and finance to provide solutions tailored to the respective business needs.

4. University of Manchester Innovation Centre (UMIC), United Kingdom

Completely owned by the University of Manchester, this bioincubator offers facilities for biotechnology research and development along with a commercially and academically supportive environment. The bioincubator tenants include biotech startups, R&D satellites from pharmaceutical companies and other service-based companies.

5. Oslo Cancer Cluster Incubator, Norway

This publicly-funded incubator accelerates cancer diagnostics and therapy development by facilitating a comprehensive cancer innovation ecosystem. The Oslo cancer incubator hosts several startups, global pharma, consultants/providers, investors and research institutions and provides them access to research facilities, business development services a vast international network of key investors and industrial players.

6. BIC Granada, Spain

BIC Granada is a “CEEI” (Centro Europeo de Empresas e Innovación) company, with over 15 years of experience in the creation and acceleration of technology-based startups, focused on healthcare and industrial biotech. Their mission statement, “to transform knowledge into wealth and employment, supporting you on the way from the lab to the market”, describes the company’s agenda perfectly. BIC assists entrepreneurs with preparing business plans to obtain funding and also, access multiple startup contests and trade-shows

7, Copenhagen Bio Science Park (COBIS), Denmark

COBIS is cleverly placed between Denmark’s leading hospitals and major universities – the heart of Medicon Valley – in the world’s leading biotech region. COBIS offers help and support to life science businesses at all stages: established life science company, a CRO within life science, or even for good ideas that need help getting started. With its primary focus on healthcare and food technology, COBIS hosts a wide assortment of national and international companies helping them at every stage of development: from an idea to its realization.

8. Utrecht Science Park, The Netherlands

Located in the heart of Europe, this science park brings together business, industry and academia “to design and create healthier, safer and more sustainable cities for today and for subsequent generations”. The Utrecht Science Park is home to Utrecht University, the Botanic Gardens, University Medical Centre Utrecht and several companies focused on life sciences, health, sustainability, and applied gaming technologies.

9. AstraZeneca BioVentureHub, Sweden

Hosted by AstraZeneca, BioventureHub offers a unique, open and collaborative scientific community allowing the members to have the same access to the facilities as AstraZeneca itself, but still function independently of it. BioventureHub brings together enterpreneurs from various facets of life sciences- biotech, medtech, e-health, academia, and acts as an ideal growth catalyst.

10. Bayer CoLaborator, Germany

In the pharmaceuticals segment, Bayer has launched 4 branches of CoLaborator: Berlin, Kobe, Moscow, San Francisco – and one in the CropScience Segment in West Sacramento. In the fields of health and nutrition, CoLaborator serves as the liaison between academia, industry, patent organizations and regulatory authorities to advance fundamental research and to develop platform technologies.

For life science startups, Colaborator offers attractive incubator space and access to the company’s research expertise and infrastructure, providing a stepping stool for other partnering options in the pharmaceutical and agriculture industry.

Do you know of any bioincubators we may have missed on this list? Leave a comment below and we’ll add it in the list.

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About Author

Maya Raghunandan obtained her Ph.D in Biochemistry and Molecular Biology from the University of Minnesota, Twin cities, USA. Currently, she is a cancer biology scientist at Université Catholique de Louvain, Brussels, Belgium. In her spare time, she writes about cool science discoveries in her jargon-free blog Because, science doesn’t have to sound complicated. Instead, it must be comprehensible for everyone.

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