Babraham Research Campus receives £44M boost for bioscience innovation
The Government has announced that £44M will be awarded to the Babraham Research Campus to support bioscience innovation, demonstrating the Government’s commitment to science and cutting-edge research following the Spending Review. This funding comes from an extra £100M for capital/infrastructure investment for science announced by Government as part of the 2011 budget.
Professor Michael Wakelam, Director of the Babraham Institute said, “We welcome the additional funding to the Babraham Research Campus, which will enable us to build on our current strengths in research and innovation. It will allow us to initiate further developments in infrastructure and facilities to support the life sciences industry in both the region and the UK.”
Minister for Universities and Science David Willetts today visited the Babraham Campus to see the facilities within Babraham’s Bioincubator Building such as the Technology Development Laboratory, which are designed to support early-stage biomedical ventures. He said, “This new investment recognises the value of our excellent research base and proves the UK science industry is very much open for business. The extra spending will help drive innovation and growth and reflects our commitment to cutting-edge research."
As a leading hub of life sciences innovation in the UK, the Babraham Research Campus plays a key role supporting the region’s life-sciences network and early-stage biomedical enterprises while also helping to attract inward investment. This additional investment to the campus will help to create and support exciting new companies and jobs based on world-leading bioscience, says the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), which supports the Babraham Institute.
Derek Jones, Chief Executive of Babraham Bioscience Technologies, the Institute’s commercial company said, “This investment is excellent news for the sector, the region as well as the UK. It is further recognition by Government of the value of our excellent research base at Babraham and the invaluable support our facilities provide to emerging biomedical enterprises. The creation of a supportive, entrepreneurial environment promoting bioscience innovation is one of our key objectives as we continue to develop the Babraham Research Campus. We continue to have great support from the local biomedical and entrepreneurial community. This funding will enable us to build on the success of our 4th Bioincubator Building, developed with financial support from BBSRC, which is already full.”
In addition to the Babraham investment, £26M will also go to the Norwich Research Park. The funds will support the development of these sites – which are already key players in bioscience and innovation – and further strengthen them as UK science and innovation clusters. On both sites there will be an expanded opportunity to drive economic growth through the creation and development of new companies and new jobs, as well as extending the impact of public investment on the society and economy of the regions and the UK.
“The Babraham Research Campus is distinct in that, through the proximity of a world-leading academic institute with commercial ventures, it more easily promotes the translation of ideas emanating from basic bioscience research”, added Professor Wakelam. “This new investment supporting innovation centres at Babraham and the Norwich Research Park will maximise the impact of public investment in bioscience research.”
Professor Douglas Kell, BBSRC’s Chief Executive said, “We are delighted that the government has chosen to make this significant investment in bioscience innovation at the Babraham Research Campus and Norwich Research Park. The new centres will provide the intellectual and commercial environment necessary to support the development of new and sustainable industries and the creation of the Knowledge-Based BioEconomy on which our prosperity depends. These centres are arenas in which new ideas can flourish, helping to accelerate translation of research outputs into valuable new technologies, products and practices.”
Commenting on the announcement, Secretary of State Vince Cable said, “This investment is a real boost to our world class research base, life sciences and space industries and demonstrates further the Government's commitment to science following the Spending Review and the ring fencing of the science budget. It will create new businesses and improve existing ones, attract highly skilled scientists and technicians and become a focus for international investment.” Nigel Gaymond, Chief Executive of the BioIndustry Association said, “The Government’s investment in the BBSRC’s Babraham campus is a great example of commitment to providing facilities for start-up companies in the life sciences sector. Future job growth in the UK will come from the small and medium enterprises of the kind that Babraham will host.”
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Notes to Editors:
About the Babraham Institute:
The Babraham Institute undertakes world-class life sciences research to generate new knowledge of biological mechanisms underpinning ageing, development and the maintenance of health. Our research focuses on cellular signalling, gene regulation and the impact of epigenetic regulation at different stages of life. By determining how the body reacts to dietary and environmental stimuli and manages microbial and viral interactions, we aim to improve wellbeing and support healthier ageing. The Institute is strategically funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), part of UK Research and Innovation, through an Institute Core Capability Grant and also receives funding from other UK research councils, charitable foundations, the EU and medical charities.
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) is the UK funding agency for research in the life sciences. Sponsored by Government, BBSRC annually invests around £450 million in a wide range of research that makes a significant contribution to the quality of life for UK citizens and supports a number of important industrial stakeholders including the agriculture, food, chemical, health and well-being and pharmaceutical sectors. BBSRC carries out its mission by funding internationally competitive research, providing training in the biosciences, fostering opportunities for knowledge transfer and innovation and promoting interaction with the public and other stakeholders on issues of scientific interest in universities, centres and institutes.
Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd is responsible for managing the Babraham Research Campus’ Bioincubator. BBT brings together all the elements to support innovation and enable the successful exploitation of research in the biomedical sector based on technologies emanating from the Babraham Institute and bioventures relocating to the campus. BBT has taken a prominent role regionally, initiating and leading partnerships to promote knowledge and skills flow and has established a reputation for successfully translating innovative science into viable business opportunities through partnerships for wealth creation.