„The growth of the biotechnology and life sciences sector is currently limited by the scarcity of suitable locations“
Interview with Eva Menne, founder and managing partner, 1toAll
Plattform Life Sciences: With the Covid-19 pandemic, biotechnology has been (re-) discovered and we are seeing new activity in a number of areas. Have you noticed any new developments in plans being made around laboratory facilities?
Menne: Definitely. The biotechnology and life sciences sector is experiencing an exceptional boom. Growth in the sector is currently limited, however, because of the scarcity of suitable locations. In the con- text of trying to find space for our clients from the biotechnology and life sciences sector, we’ve found time and again that there is currently very little space available that would meet our client‘s needs. We’ve even seen up to six serious applicants for one listed laboratory unit. At the same time, only a handful of property developers are focusing on developing this type of space.
Where do you get your overview of the commercial real estate market and what do you think about the current situation?
We have a very comprehensive commer- cial property database, which we keep up to date both through our own research and through ongoing communication with mar- ket players. We also regularly evaluate all publicly available data, and our projects put us in contact with local authorities, business development agencies and pro- perty developers. Because of our effective network, property developers often approach us directly, particularly when it comes to laboratory space, as was the case with the Potsdam Science Park project.
So, if I‘m looking for laboratory and office space of a certain size in Berlin and I consult your data-base – would I be able to find anything at the moment?
Yes, you would, actually. As soon as we start working together and you give us details on all of your requirements, which is indispensable in helping us find the right fit, especially when it comes to laboratory space, we not only run your requirements through our own database, we also turn over every stone in your target location on a daily basis. With these efforts, we’re able to make sure that we get access even to construction projects that may not have yet reached the general public to see if they meet your requirements. This method has enabled us to find sites for companies that weren’t even on anyone‘s radar.
What about other hotspot locations like Munich, Heidelberg, Düsseldorf, Vienna…?
Our database covers commercial properties in Germany‘s tier-1, tier-2 and tier-3 cities as well as the commercial market in Vienna and Zurich. We also have good relationships with landlords and property developers through a network that has continued to grow over the past 35 years. In recent years, we were able to help three large international compa- nies from the biotechnology and life scien- ces sector set up their new locations in Munich. And we‘ve advised large, well- known technolo-gy groups such as Leica and Hexagon in Vienna and Zurich. Both compa- nies were also looking for space in line with their special needs.
About how much of your data covers the laboratory sector? How many inquiries would you say you get from different industries?
The number of advisory projects we handle in this sector has been steadily growing thanks to rec-ommendations from past clients. At the moment, these projects account for almost half of our total project volume. Other innovative, technology-driven companies value our timesaving, efficient ap-proach as well. Thanks to our online plat- form, my.1toAll.com, we began collaborating digitally with our clients well before the changes caused by the pandemic, which meant a very smooth tran-sition for us, something that we‘re really pleased about. And feedback from our clients confirms how smooth the transition actually was.
One last question. What was the decisive factor behind your decision to develop your my.1toAll ap-plication?
I‘ve always been very process-oriented, even throughout my extensive career with one of the largest property owners and highly repu- table advisory firms. Many companies that I’ve had the opportunity to advise require more transparency and independence when it comes to their preparations for submitting these decisions to their boards and commit- tees. At the same time, they also have a de- sire to focus on their core expertise and typi- cally don’t have resources in place to spend time look-ing for a new location. That‘s why I wanted to offer an innovative platform that brings together all the steps involved in the process under a professional, transparent and independent approach, while also provi- ding the client with excellent support. This creates close-knit collaboration that saves companies time and gives them excellent -re- sults.
Thank you for your time.
The interview was conducted by Dr Georg Kääb