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£6M to help early bioscience companies flourish

£6M to help early bioscience companies flourish - 25 April 2014. Babraham Research Campus

Chancellor George Osborne has announced a £6M cash injection to improve infrastructure and facilities in Cambridge that will support new companies developing from bioscience research.

The funding will see further expansion at the Babraham Research Campus following initial investment of £44M by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC). The development is providing a state-of-the art research and business environment to enable the creation of innovative new products and services from bioscience discoveries.

The announcement was made during a visit to the campus by the Chancellor George Osborne and Universities and Science Minister David Willetts. During the visit they saw the progress of BBSRC's investment to deliver the vision of a UK Research and Innovation Campus in Cambridge.

Dr Celia Caulcott, Executive Director, Innovation and Skills, BBSRC: "For the UK to continue its success in bioscience industries we need to foster an internationally leading, long-term research base that has significant business links. Investment in UK Research and Innovation Campuses is delivering this by ensuring that there are the right facilities to bring researchers and research capability together with businesses. In particular we look to ensure that companies can access the world-leading research at institutes such as Babraham, and to support very early stage companies in a variety of ways, such as with incubation and business interaction space."

Chancellor George Osborne and Science Minister David Willets with BBSRC Chief Executive Jackie Hunter. Credit: Babraham Research Campus
Left to right: Chancellor George Osborne and Science Minister David Willets with BBSRC Chief Executive Jackie Hunter. Credit: Babraham Research Campus

The £6M funding will contribute towards a new 'bioincubator' that houses both laboratory and office facilities and is specifically designed to accommodate growing companies. It will also enhance and improve social infra-structure on campus such as catering, hospitality and conferencing. Supporting the growth of biomedical enterprises in this way ensures that research outputs can be developed in order to benefit the economy and create new jobs. The investment aims to attract matched private-sector and strategic partner funding for this development to a total of £12M.

Babraham Institute's Director, Michael Wakelam and Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd Chief Executive, Derek Jones were among the guests that met with the Chancellor on the Babraham Research Campus earlier this morning.

Mr Jones commented: "This announcement is a significant step forward for the Campus and its tenants. Companies choose to come to the Babraham Research Campus to work alongside the world-class researchers of the Institute, and also to make use of state of the art facilities."

Professor Michael Wakelam added: "A further injection of funding will ensure that the opportunities for knowledge exchange will increase. The provision for social infrastructure will undoubtedly lead to greater collaboration across the Campus, which is to the benefit of institute scientists and companies alike. Our aim with this is to deliver the next "Crescendo Biologics" success story – a spin out from the Institute that has attracted £19.5M of investment."

ENDS