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The future of the Rothamsted gets laid down in stone

The future of the Rothamsted gets laid down in stone - 24 April 2014. Rothamsted Research
News from: Rothamsted Research

BBSRC Chief Executive Jackie Hunter lays the foundation stone at Rothamsted's new Centre for Research and Enterprise.

BBSRC Chief Executive Jackie Hunter has laid the foundation stone for the Lawes innovation hub, which will form part of the multi-million pound investment into Rothamsted Research, as part of it's the Government's Agri-Technology Strategy to help drive economic growth. This investment from BBSRC, Lawes Agricultural Trust and Rothamsted Research will help develop the Rothamsted Research campus into a Centre for Research and Enterprise.

The Rothamsted Centre for Research and Enterprise joins a growing family of BBSRC-supported UK Research and Innovation campuses, which include the Babraham Research Campus and Norwich Research Park and all benefit from long-term BBSRC strategic support. BBSRC investment in UK research and innovation campuses aims to create an environment where unique facilities and world-leading science can be accessed by private enterprise. The campuses make a key contribution to the UK innovation ecosystem, generating important impacts like new products, services and jobs.

From left to right
Left to right: Frank Shiner and Mike Northwood SDC, Lord De Ramsay Chair of the Lawes Agricultural Trust, Prof Jackie Hunter CEO BBSRC, and Prof Martin Parry, Acting Director Rothamsted Research. Image Rothamsted Research

Professor Jackie Hunter, BBSRC Chief Executive, said: "This is a major step change for Rothamsted and I am thrilled to be able to lay the foundation stone. We have invested in world-leading research, facilities and industry engagement at Rothamsted for many years but the development of a UK Research and Innovation Campus is expected to attract new companies and ideas and to spark the creation of new products and jobs". She added "the opportunity for companies to locate here and access the unique research facilities of Rothamsted Research is what sets this centre apart."

BBSRC, the UK's main funding agency for research in the biosciences and the largest single public funder of agriculture and food-related research, will invest up to £8.2M towards the delivery of the shared resources hub at Rothamsted that will enable multidisciplinary interactions between industrial and academic scientists. In addition to this, up to £2.7M will also help to deliver a new Rothamsted communications and conference centre. Support will also be provided by the Lawes Agricultural Trust and other sources to provide a total proposed project investment of up to £25M in the first instance. In addition to global and national impact, the development will also seek to generate new investment to the local community as well as provide state-of-the-art conferencing facilities for local business and enterprise to use.

Sir John Beddington, Chair of the Rothamsted Board of Directors said: "the new developments on the campus offer a splendid opportunity for extending the influence of the superb research at Rothamsted to the wider community. It is a very exciting initiative."

Chris Dunkley, Enterprise Projects Director added: "the internationally renowned Rothamsted Research provides a focal point for collaborative research and knowledge exchange activities in global agricultural technology. These facilities will ensure academia and industry can work together to deliver the best results for the UK."

Additional investment for the site comes from the Lawes Agricultural Trust and Rothamsted Research. In addition to global and national impact, the development will also seek to generate new investment to the local community as well as provide state-of-the-art conferencing facilities for local business and enterprise to use.

The buildings are expected to open mid-way through 2015. A live video feed of the construction site is available at iris2.time-lapse-systems.com/rothamsted-cam-1.

ENDS

Notes to editors

A short 30-second video is available at  http://vimeo.com/92727510 with Prof Jackie Hunter BBSRC commenting on Rothamsted's growing importance in the Agritech sector.