U.K. looks to house software developers at planned cancer research hub

ICR CRO Paul Workman

The team behind a planned 10,000-person, 265,000-square-meter cancer research and care hub in London is looking for software developers to occupy some of the site. By housing software companies, biotechs, med-tech developers and other companies in part of the U.K.'s cancer research and care network, the team is aiming to better connect the public and private sectors.

At this stage it is unclear which, if any, software developers will come to call the London Cancer Hub home, but the team behind the project have made clear their desire to include IT players. The Royal Marsden and the Institute of Cancer Research (ICR), which along with a local authority are leading the project, both work with software developers already and have identified a hunger in the industry for closer collaboration. Offering up office and lab space at the London Cancer Hub to companies is intended to satisfy demand and, in doing so, tighten ties between public and private players. 

"The ambition is to discover more innovative cancer drugs, to run more clinical trials and to partner with industry to take even more treatments to patients," ICR CEO Paul Workman said in a statement. Software developers that choose to locate staff at the hub will work in close proximity to a forecast 10,000 researchers, clinical employees and support workers. Scaling up to this size of operation will take time. Setting up the full 265,000 square meters of life science facilities is predicted to take 20 years, but research and startup incubator capacity is expected to come online in the next few years.

Startups can tap the Greater London Authority for investment, while ICR and the Royal Marsden are looking to a mix of private investment, government grants, philanthropy and rental income to turn their vision into a reality.

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