Harrison Street has entered the UK life sciences market by way of a newly formed investment partnership with Trinity Investment Management to buy a portfolio of five properties worth around £250m (€297m).

The Chicago-headquartered investment firm’s European platform has joined forces with Trinity to buy the 1.6m sqft portfolio of lab and office space located across the UK with assets in Kent, Colworth, Manchester, Newcastle and Edinburgh.

“The portfolio allows for embedded upside through refurbishment and lease-up strategies, as well as the expansion of some of the campuses,” the companies said in an announcement.

The duo said they have also launched Knowledge Factory, a network of science parks tailored to the UK innovation sector.

Entry into the life sciences sector is a further expansion of Harrison Street’s European platform, which since its establishment in 2015 has invested €2.4bn in the student accommodation and private rented sectors.

Rob Mathias, senior managing director and head of international business for Harrison Street, said: “Despite being the second most advanced life sciences and innovation market in the world, the real estate market in the UK is vastly undeveloped.

“However, the sector exhibits strong fundamentals such as a highly educated talent pool, rapid growth and substantial public and private investment.”

Richard O’Boyle, executive director at Trinity Investment Management, said the UK science, technology, engineering and maths sector makes a significant contribution to the UK economy ”but remains a nascent sector with its own bespoke opportunities and challenges”.

“Our response to these opportunities and challenges is called Knowledge Factory which seeks to build knowledge economies applying our three strategic aims.

”We are privileged to partner with Harrison Street who bring significant sector experience and investment to Knowledge Factory as we seek to expand the platform in the UK and Europe.”