ESPG AG – European Science Park Group – is one of the first German real estate companies to specialize in the ownership, management and acquisition of science parks.
A science park is a concept that originated in the U.S. and has already developed into its own asset class in the U.K. and other European countries. The key idea is to provide scientific and technology-oriented companies with areas tailored to their needs and to help them grow.
Science parks are typically located in close proximity to universities, clinics and research institutions. They often reflect the professional focus of these academic institutions. This also creates synergies among the companies located within the same science park, which promotes the establishment and expansion of networks.
ESPG currently holds 16 commercial properties throughout Europe, which have a total lettable area of more than 126,000 square meters and a balance sheet value of around €250 million ($245 million). Around 81% of the company’s current portfolio (measured by market value) is already classified as science parks, where ESPG provides tailor-made space for industry-leading research, development and production.
In the current portfolio, 34% of the tenants belong to the life science sector, while 16% focus on ‘green’ technologies, and 31% work in digitalization. For example, Azenta Life Sciences GmbH operates one of Europe’s largest bio-storage facilities in an ESPG property in Hesse, where several million tissue samples are stored at temperatures as low as minus 180 degrees Celsius.
Nuvisan Analytical Services GmbH – a provider of early-stage clinical trials – operates in one of only three test facilities approved by the U.S. Food and Drug Administration at the ESPG property in Neu-Ulm.
Announcement of ESPG at IASP conference
ESPG, which was previously called Diok RealEstate AG, was announced at the International Association of Science Parks and Areas of Innovation (IASP) World Conference in Seville, Spain.
Due to ESPG’s shareholder base, centered around investors managed by Alvarium Investments, as well as other international private investors, the company can continue to grow in the current economic situation and market phase. In addition, the company has access to various extensive debt capital, made possible by long-standing relationships with banks and capital partners.
ESPG board member, Ralf Nöcker, said: “Our science parks offer space for innovation in which our tenants can firmly establish themselves, network and benefit from the expertise of others, which in turn accelerates technological breakthroughs. This concept benefits not only the tenants, but also all other stakeholders who have invested in science parks. As owners, we expect attractive returns and a stable, long-term tenant base. We also ensure that our company meets the increasingly important ESG criteria, and that our buildings become increasingly energy efficient.”
Executive board member, Markus Drews, said: “Our existing spaces, including Munich Aero Park 49 and the Campteq Innovation Campus near Darmstadt, have already been rented to more than 60 top-class tenants from industries such as life sciences and green technologies, including Nuvisan, SAP, ABB and Siemens. We now want to expand our portfolio even faster, not only in terms of the number of properties, but also in the variety of disciplines involved. For us at ESPG, it is exciting to see how our tenants thrive and succeed with innovation, supported by our facilities.”