Kent-based life sciences hub Discovery Park has appointed an entrepreneur and highly respected bio-business programme director from Birkbeck (University of London) as their new Head of Innovation. 

Renos Savva joins the Discovery Park team to identify, support and empower entrepreneurially minded scientists to thrive at Discovery Park’s tailored facilities in Sandwich, Kent.

Savva has unique experience from both sides of the table. As an entrepreneur, he co-founded Domainex, recognised by the Financial Times in 2018 as the ‘fastest-growing drug discovery contract research organisation in Europe’. With this experience, he then developed and delivered as a Senior Lecturer the postgraduate Bio-business programme at Birkbeck University, playing a key role in mentoring many successful CEOs and companies, including the founders of BoobyBiome, a biotech creating microbiome supplements for infants without access to breast milk and profiled in a recent Channel 4 series.

Commenting on his appointment, Savva said: “I know first-hand the challenges faced by life science businesses – including unlocking funding and being able to access the facilities you need. A large part of my role is mentoring and supporting the many businesses located at Discovery Park, as well as building our network even further.”

“Discovery Park has a unique offering and innovation at its core and its new, bespoke lab space allows for flexibility for companies of all stages to scale and grow. I’m excited to be joining the already thriving innovator network, with the on-site Barclay’s Eagle Lab providing a full package of growth services, including mentoring, investor readiness programmes and access to investors, including Discovery Park’s own seed fund – Discovery Park Ventures.”

Mayer Schreiber, CEO of Discovery Park, said: “Renos will be instrumental in delivering Discovery Park’s mission to be a leading science and technology cluster which supports start-ups, spinouts, and scaling businesses to commercialise their innovation and achieve growth.”

“Renos’ mentoring track record means he will be a real asset to Discovery Park’s offering, leveraging his connections in both academia and industry for the benefit of our tenants. Discovery Park is ideally placed for life science businesses of all stages. Our facilities are just outside of the more established ‘golden triangle’, meaning there is room to grow, but you can still access opportunities and networks in central London in just over an hour.”

Savva has always been interested in the commercial implications of discoveries and their translation into industry. He plans to bring his expertise to Discovery Park with a pre-accelerator intensive course onsite, upskilling scientists and aspiring entrepreneurs in business acumen, concluding with individuals using their new skills to pitch to real investors and VCs. He explained “Over the years, I’ve mentored many successful founders to take their companies to the next level. The right environment and support is key to excelling in discovery science. I want to energise the next wave of founders and startup leaders to see the potential of Discovery Park as an inspiring place to discover, build a business and live.”