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Innovation in Animal Health in Surrey and Hampshire

The UK and the Enterprise M3 Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) are striving to reduce the global environmental impact of animal products.

The Surrey and Hampshire region is home to a thriving animal health ecosystem. The Animal Health Innovation Network (AHIN) inspires the development and adoption of new digital technologies across the animal health sector. Building on its combined expertise, facilities, data and a cross sectoral supply chain, it aims to transform veterinary health and wellbeing for the benefit of animals, human health and the environment.

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Location:

Surrey and Hampshire

Investment type:

Foreign direct investment

Sector:

Clean agri-tech

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Sector and market opportunity

As the global population grows, sustainable solutions are needed to address the demand for animal products. Globally there are likely to be 5.3 billion ruminant livestock and 46 billion chickens by 2050.

Animal production has a significant impact on global food sustainability and climate change. The Surrey and Hampshire region has the research and skills capability to develop innovative technology solutions. These can mitigate the threat to the environment whilst meeting demand and contributing to feeding the world.

Growth prospects

The increasing global demand for animal-derived food will be detrimental to the climate unless new technologies are introduced. Additionally, environmental pressures contribute to the emergence of new diseases, which may be transmitted between animals and people.

Innovative solutions such as surveillance, detection, prediction and treatment are required to reduce this impact. They can mitigate the threats and losses from endemic diseases such as lameness in cattle, internal parasites in sheep, enteric disease in pigs or respiratory disease in poultry.

Location

The region has established itself as an ideal location to invest in the animal health sector, as shown by the establishment of the Animal Health Innovation Network (AHIN). This is a vibrant ecosystem comprising research, academic, government and industry partners that is competitive and viable, spanning surveillance, diagnostics, R&D science, data, and biotechnology.

This is an excellent strategic location that benefits from influences of both city and rural environments, in close proximity to the South Downs National Park and Surrey Hills.

Connectivity

The Surrey and Hampshire region is situated on the outskirts of London, which is 30 minutes by train or road. It’s well-connected, with access to the motorway network locally and nationally, and direct access to major international ports and airports.

3 airports are within easy reach, including Heathrow, which covers over 200 global destinations.

There are fast and frequent train services to other major UK centres.

Local talent and skills

With a £55 billion economy, the Surrey and Hampshire region has the second largest workforce in the UK. With 12% of its workforce employed in life sciences, 1,800 highly skilled individuals are employed in the growing animal health sectors.

Home to 5 leading universities, this region generates 10,500 industry-ready graduates annually, specialising in veterinary medicine, biology, engineering, digital innovation and business.

Additionally, 3 further education colleges offer courses to students from animal management, conservation and laboratory sciences.

Research and expertise

The AHIN offers collaboration opportunities between:

  • academia
  • industry
  • government agencies
  • research organisations

This includes access to expertise in:

  • diagnostics
  • epidemiology
  • vaccine development
  • immunology
  • virology
  • antimicrobial resistance
  • pathology
  • surveillance
  • biosecurity
  • digital innovation
  • data science
  • regulatory affairs

Regional assets include unique facilities such as high and low containment laboratories at The Pirbright Institute, APHA and the University of Surrey.

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South of England

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The region is home to 21 million people. It offers opportunities across a wide range of sectors from nuclear and aerospace, to life science and new technologies. There are vibrant clusters of expertise spanning 5G, cybersecurity and artificial intelligence.

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Enabling clean growth

Surrey and Hampshire has a strong low carbon sector, accounting for 10% of the UK market. The diverse and design-led nature of the region’s economy means it is strongly placed to tackle global issues through cross sectoral collaboration. The priority is to support companies that are developing low carbon innovations.

We have a strong network of clean growth expertise across business, education and public bodies that work together to support our transition to net zero.

Local and national government support

As part of the Enterprise M3 LEP, the Enterprise M3 Growth Hub is an expert advice and resource network working with private and public sector partners to realise the full growth potential of the area.

Enterprise M3 Careers and Enterprise Company works with a network of over 85 schools and colleges across the region with the purpose of connecting business with education, while providing careers support and incentivising STEM participation.

Success stories

vHive

The Veterinary Health Innovation Engine (vHive) is a unique multi-disciplinary research and innovation initiative for new digital technologies in animal health.

A collaboration between the leading animal health company Zoetis and the University of Surrey, it houses expertise in AI and data sciences, veterinary science and diagnostics.

272BIO

272BIO is a biotech company focussing on animal health. The company uses cutting-edge discovery and production platforms, together with VHH antibody technology to develop antibody therapeutics.

272BIO has established a UK Discovery Lab at The Pirbright Institute, a world-renowned BBSRC-funded research institute that specialises in veterinary virology.

Boehringer Ingelheim

Boehringer Ingelheim Animal Health is the second largest animal health business in the world. It delivers a large and innovative portfolio of products and services to prevent disease and improve the health and productivity of animals around the world.

It makes more than 300 million doses of vaccine in the UK every year, distributed globally to control foot and mouth disease.

Mantle Labs

Mantle Labs is a leading UK remote sensing company providing digital agriculture solutions related to crop monitoring. Its technology facilitates global monitoring of the vital feed grains which support the livestock industry.

By identifying trouble spots early, Mantle Labs enables farmers to take remediation action and give visibility and insights for those down the supply chain to source alternatives.

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