In this article, Unispace's new Life Sciences leader for ANZ, Sam Gill, discusses his new role, what he brings to Unispace and what he's most looking forward to.
Congratulations on joining Unispace to lead the Life Sciences Team across ANZ! Can you tell us a bit about your background and professional experience?
Thank you, I’ve spent my entire professional career within the construction industry, with a particular focus in the Life Sciences sector over the last eight or so years. My experience in this space extends from biocontainment and research laboratories, through to pharmaceutical cleanrooms, for clients across both the public and private sectors including Baxter Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson, Teva, Phebra and AbCellera.
Born and raised in Melbourne, at the beginning of 2018 I made the move up to Sydney with my previous employer to grow their construction business, for what was supposed to be a two year stint. Five years later… I’m still here! While I’ve spent most of my career working as a head contractor, I’ve always maintained a very client-focussed approach, which has seen me involved across all facets of a project – from initial conception, through to design management, all the way to construction and delivery.
What attracted you to Unispace and this role?
I was really attracted to the opportunity of being part of something new and exciting, but with the security and backing of an established global business. The Unispace Life Sciences team has an exciting growth projection and being able to help shape that growth was a real driver for me in joining the team.
In addition, Unispace’s investment in Life Sciences through the purchase of BioPharma Engineering last year really demonstrates its intention to be a leader in this rapidly evolving sector, and I’m looking forward to being a part of that. Personally, having a global network of experts to bounce ideas off and learn from, particularly across key regions such as Europe and the Americas, was also just too good an opportunity to pass up.
What insights do you bring to Unispace clients?
The large majority of projects that I’ve been involved with have been located within live, operational environments such as research facilities, pharmaceutical manufacturing facilities, hospitals and educational institutions. Ensuring ongoing, uninterrupted operations was a key success factor for these projects. This approach, coupled with my familiarity of the technical challenges in delivering Life Sciences facilities – including the various regulatory compliance protocols, provided confidence to my clients that their projects would be delivered as efficiently as possible, with minimal impact to their operations.
What challenges are you seeing organisations face in the Life Science sector and how can Unispace assist with solving these challenges? ?
Pre-covid, the manufacturing of pharmaceuticals within Australia and New Zealand had slowed, but in more recent years there has been a real push from the community for these items to be made locally once again. Coupled with the rapid growth in biotech worldwide, this has seen tens of billions of dollars invested into the sector and has resulted in huge competition to attract the best talent. The marketplace is now demanding companies put far greater importance on, and invest in, the overall workplace experience. Those who can adapt the quickest will be best placed to attract the best talent.
Unispace is in a unique position because we’ve been in this business for over 10 years, creating workplaces to empower employees and help companies attract and retain top talent. As this becomes a growing focus for companies in the Life Sciences sector, Unispace is perfectly placed to help companies who are looking to change the way they design their research and manufacturing facilities, create an effective flow between workspaces and labs, and give their people the best environment to succeed.
Lastly, what are you looking forward to doing once you get your feet under the desk?
While I have only been here a short while, it was immediately apparent is that one of Unispace’s greatest assets is its people. With that in mind, I’m really looking forward to visiting the various Unispace studios around the ANZ region and getting to know the team, as well as providing insights into the Life Sciences sector. As I mentioned earlier, I’m also keen to get to know my Life Sciences colleagues across the globe, as there is a significant pool of knowledge amongst the Unispace business that will be a valuable asset to tap into.
Sam Gill is the Head of Life Sciences for Unispace across the ANZ region. Sam joined Unispace in early 2023, he was previously a leading head contractor within the pharmaceutical and healthcare industry in Australia. Sam has spent most of his professional career working in the life sciences sector, with a particular focus in this area over the last eight years.
He specialises in the construction and delivery of research laboratories and pharmaceutical production facilities including clean rooms and biocontainment facilities. Sam’s experience across ANZ has seen him work with Baxter Healthcare, Johnson & Johnson, AbCellera and Phebra.