Mandelson Unveils Plans For New Drug Development Campus

October 13, 2009

Stevenage,  Hertfordshire - October 13, 2009

Plans for a unique £37m Bioscience Campus in Stevenage, Hertfordshire, funded in partnership by the Government, GlaxoSmithKline, The Wellcome Trust, Technology Strategy Board and East of England Development Agency, will be announced by Business, Innovation and Skills Secretary, Lord  Mandelson.

The project aims to create a hub for  early-stage biotech companies, operating under a model of  open-innovation and collaboration. The Campus will offer each company access to specialist  skills, equipment and expertise, to help stimulate innovation  in drug development.  

The Stevenage Campus represents a huge investment in the future of Britain’s bioscience industry and is a strong new platform for the work of our Office for Life Sciences. It will  leverage our existing strengths as a world leader in the  sector, helping it to grow and reinforcing our international  competitiveness. And ultimately it will help us build towards a stronger UK economy coming out of the global downturn," said Lord Mandelson at the Technology Strategy Board’s Innovate09 Conference.

It’s estimated that development of the campus could create up to 1,500 new jobs, most of which will be high-skilled. It  will initially be home to around 25 companies, co-located with GlaxoSmithKline on its existing research site, with plans to increase capacity at the park fivefold over the next 10  years.

"EEDA has been working with GSK for the last 18 months to  develop and secure funding for the UK’s first open innovation campus for drug discovery and development. Today’s announcement strengthens the region’s position as a world leader in life sciences, it will create thousands of new jobs and enable us to compete on the global stage. It’s a great example of how regional interventions can stimulate projects of national significance with a global outreach," said Richard Ellis, Chair from East of England Development Agency.

The Campus is being part-funded with £11.7m from the UK  Strategic Investment Fund. The £750m fund was established in  Budget ’09 as part of the Government’s New Industry, New Jobs strategy to position the economy for the global upturn by supporting projects in fields where the UK has comparative  strengths.  The UK Strategic Investment Fund – Interim Report has been published, setting out the principles behind the fund and the investment commitments that have been made so far.  

Total investment in the Campus  stands at around £37.6m. On top of the £11.7 SIF funding for  the project, GlaxoSmithKline has granted £10.9m; The Wellcome Trust has committed £6m; the Technology Strategy Board is providing £5m and EEDA will look to contribute £4m.

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