Construction signals next phase for BioQuarter development
Building work commenced today, 28 June 2010, on Edinburgh BioQuarter's £24m BioIncubator
Nicola Sturgeon, Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing, visited to oversee the official site start and see first hand the economic potential offered through the development of the Edinburgh BioQuarter.
The specialist three storey BioIncubator building, which is expected to open its doors in 2012 is being funded through £12 million injection of funding from the UK Strategic Investment Fund matched by £12 million from SE, and will become home to some of Scotland's most promising and ambitious life sciences firms.
The 8,500 sq m facility, which will sit alongside the University of Edinburgh's Scottish Centre for Regeneration, will provide a specialist mix of office and laboratory accommodation for a range of specialist life science companies of various sizes, including early stage start ups and spin outs, creating a best in class physical environment to support the growth of companies growing out of Scottish research and development.
Cabinet Secretary for Health and Wellbeing Nicola Sturgeon said: "The beginning of the ground works for the BioIncubator is an important milestone on our path to realizing our vision for the BioQuarter. It will provide the space, facilities and equipment to enable new life science companies to grow and thrive.
"The BioQuarter underpins our commitment to improved benefits for patients, by bringing together some of the country's best clinicians in the Edinburgh Royal Infirmary, the world-renowned Medical School at the University of Edinburgh, and the Queens Medical Research Institute.
"The Scottish Government are committed to growing the life sciences sector in Scotland. Life sciences are a vital part of our vision for a thriving Scottish economy, producing long term, sustainable, and resilient growth. It's also an area where Scotland has a real edge."
Lena Wilson, chief executive, Scottish Enterprise, said: "We have reached a highly significant milestone in the ongoing development of the Edinburgh BioQuarter. Progress with large scale projects such as this inevitably involve complex negotiations and collaborations amongst the private and public sectors which I am pleased that SE has been facilitating. We can now push even further ahead towards the creation of valuable jobs and investment for the Scottish economy."
Professor Sir John Savill, head of the University of Edinburgh's College of Medicine and Veterinary Medicine, said: "It is great to see another milestone reached for Edinburgh BioQuarter. Edinburgh BioQuarter provides exciting opportunities for biomedical research in Scotland. The initiative will strengthen research and development, with university researchers and NHS Lothian colleagues working closely with commercial partners, in order to improve therapies for patients."
Dr Charles Swainson, Medical Director, NHS Lothian, said: "This is a major step forward in the development of the BioQuarter and will help to encourage more development in the area.
"Continued investment in the BioQuarter will help to develop leading new tests and treatments which may benefit patients in the Lothian."
Cllr Jenny Dawe, Leader of the City of Edinburgh Council, said: "I am absolutely delighted to see the progress that has been made to date in this key sector for Edinburgh. We want to play a world-leading role in bioscience and medical research and this goes a huge way towards delivering that objective.
"I would like to take this opportunity to thank all the agencies involved for working together in a constructive manner to get us here."
BioQuarter partners, Scottish Enterprise, Alexandria Real Estate Equities Inc, the University of Edinburgh, NHS Lothian and the City of Edinburgh Council, have developed the BioQuarter proposition as an unrivalled location for translating medical discovery into clinical products whilst delivering significant economic impact.
It combines an internationally renowned university and medical school, a world class clinical trials centre, and a commercial research campus that will house some of the world's leading biotech companies.
In total the long term implementation and delivery of the whole BioQuarter initiative is expected to have a net gross value add impact of £327million over a 25 year period.
Scotland's thriving life sciences sector adds over £3.1 billion to the Scottish economy annually. The sector in Scotland is internationally recognised in areas such as translational medicine, reproductive biology, diabetes, oncology, stem cells and infectious diseases.
Globally, the industry (including pharmaceuticals and biotechnology) is expected to be currently worth £801 billion; an increase of more than 45 per cent since 2007.
Notes to editors:
PHOTOGRAPHS FROM SITE VISIT AVAILABLE ON 28 JUNE 2010
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Scottish Enterprise is Scotland's main economic development agency. Working in partnership with industry, academia and the public sector, SE aims to help make Scotland a place where business can thrive and key industries can be competitive. Its focus is to help businesses grow, encourage greater innovation and create the right conditions for companies to access property, markets and finance to increase productivity and increase Scotland's ability to compete internationally.