The UK is a world leader in life sciences. And real estate can contribute to this by creating and providing spaces for innovation and interaction.

In our new podcast series, EG explores the booming sector of life sciences with expert speakers from across the field.

We start with the following subject:

The transformation of life sciences: what does this mean for real estate? 


Anna Strongman, chief executive, Oxford University Development

Strongman is chief executive of Oxford University Development, a joint venture between Oxford University and Legal & General set up to build Innovation Districts and subsidised accommodation for graduate students and the university workforce. Strongman was previously managing partner of Argent, where she spent 12 years on a range of asset, development and business planning projects. Highlights included leading the asset management of King’s Cross, developing Coal Drops Yard and setting up a BTR portfolio with JV partner Related. Strongman helped build the business from a team of 40 to 200 over a 10-year period and led the corporate side of the business as managing partner. Before working at Argent, she worked in the planning and economic development team of Arup, worked for DTZ in Scotland and studied Japanese as a Daiwa Anglo Japanese scholar.

Steven Lang, research director, Savills

Lang joined Savills within the UK and European commercial research department in January 2002 and has more than 20 years’ experience in commercial property research. He is responsible for Savills’ UK research and consultancy for the office-related real estate markets outside of central London, primarily the wider South East (M25) markets. His experience includes work on a wide variety of research consultancy projects, in all property sectors, for investors, developers, owners and occupiers. On a global basis, Lang has a focus on the life science sector, as well as leading the research on innovation, technology and key global trends that affect the occupation, investment and use of offices.

Colleen O’Connor, vice president, leasing, East Coast and UK markets, BioMed Realty

O’Connor, senior director, east coast and UK markets at BioMed Realty, which owns and operates high-quality life science real estate comprising 13m sq ft concentrated in leading innovation markets throughout the US and UK. O’Connor leads the company’s leasing efforts for nearly 5m sq ft of life science space across the US east coat and UK.

Rob West, founding partner, Clearbell Capital

West is a founding partner of Clearbell Capital, a member of the investment committee and a director of the manager. His
responsibilities include business development, capital raising, sourcing mainstream acquisitions and ESG. He also leads two separate mandates – CPRE and CST. West has more than 30 years’ experience in real estate, including the leasing, investment and asset management of approximately £2.3bn of UK properties.

West worked at Hawthorne West, an asset management operating partner which he founded in 2006 to manage UKCP, a £100m real estate private equity fund sponsored by Mountgrange Capital and Meyer Bergman. Before establishing Hawthorne West, he worked as an investment broker, initially with Nelson Bakewell (now Capita), where he ran the national business space division, and then as a founding partner of SG Commercial, a joint venture between the partners and Smiths Gore (now Savills). His broking clients included M&G, Legal and General, UBS, Threadneedle and Schroders.

The first five years of West’s career were at niche London advisor Daniel Watney. He qualified as a chartered surveyor in 1994 following a post-graduate diploma in property valuation and law from City University and a BA (Hons) in anthropology from Durham University.

West serves on the Court of the Clothworkers’ Livery Company with a focus on the company’s London property portfolio. The Clothworkers’ Foundation is the primary vehicle of charitable giving for the company and since 1977 has awarded capital grants of more than £135m.

Chair: Samantha McClary, editor, EG

McClary has almost 20 years’ experience in real estate and business journalism, covering a wide range of topics. Alongside making sure EG delivers the best, most helpful, most accurate and, of course, most interesting content to EG’s readership across all platforms – print, online and audio – she also plays a leading role in enabling and delivering a more diverse environment for the real estate community through EG’s REWIRE and tech initiatives. A keen chair and regular wearer of too bright trousers, McClary seeks to help keep panel discussions and events lively with audience participation and insightful questioning.

In partnership with

Savills is one of the world’s leading real estate firms. Established in 1855, we now have over 39,000 employees in more than 600 offices and associates throughout the UK and Europe, Asia Pacific, Americas, Africa and the Middle East.

Our world-class advice, property management capabilities and transactional services help our clients to fulfil their real estate needs – whatever and wherever they are.

Through global knowledge and local expertise, together with a strong client focus, commitment to our people and unique combination of sector knowledge and flair, we provide a complete range of property solutions throughout the lifecycle of any real estate asset.

Within the science, R&D and tech sector, our market insight and expertise enables us to provide the highest quality advice and competitive advantage to help our clients make well informed, insightful decisions.

Life Sciences

Series sponsor

Supported by

EG Radius