Repurposed space helping to fulfill science park demand

Demand for space from life science occupiers currently outstrips the supply of suitable specialist buildings, so converting existing assets to create life science space and science parks will be the dominant theme going forward. So says European Science Park Group board member Ralf Nöcker.

The need to repurpose existing space has been underlined by current building supply chain difficulties, Nöcker added.

The European Science Park Group owns 16 properties most of whose income comes from science and research applications, but also from green technologies and clean tech and from digital transformation and lifelong learning.

Nöcker said the group’s assets include quasi-industrial properties dedicated to green technologies. “One occupier focuses on life saving air filters. They started out originally in nuclear power but nowadays make HEPA filters for large auditoriums, for trains, for offices and you can see how green technology overlaps and is very similar to life sciences.”

The portfolio also includes a unit that tests mobile emission strategies to reduce the energy and radioactive impact of mobile technologies.

“So it’s quite a wide field in terms of the sciences we have, but we feel that’s a good mix going forward.”

There is a growing trend for locating science parks in city centres and other urban areas but that has not always been the case.

“It’s part of our investment thesis that our park should be located close to a university or a research hub,” said Nöcker. In US city Boston the science park is between the city centre, Cambridge and MIT.

“In a way Europe is going back to where America always was.”