UK Government

Department for Business, Innovation and Skills: New £24m Boost to Life Science Sector in Edinburgh

Press Release   •   Dec 10, 2009 11:43 GMT

A £24million investment in life sciences is confirmed today with the announcement of a new 10,000sq m bioincubator at the landmark Edinburgh BioQuarter, at the heart of the Scottish life sciences cluster.

The facility, jointly funded by the Department for Business Innovation and Skills through the Strategic Investment Fund and Scottish Enterprise, is one of the new investments announced alongside Chancellor Alistair Darling’s Pre Budget Report to help stimulate growth and keep Britain among the best places in the world to start and grow a business.

Confirming the new investment, Secretary of State for Scotland Jim Murphy said:

“This is a massive boost for the economy in Edinburgh, Scotland and the whole UK.

“Our life science sector is a vital part of a rebalanced economy producing long term sustainable and resilient growth. It’s also an area where Scotland has a real edge. Today’s funding will help create the high value industries and jobs of the future, while attracting further private investment.”

Lena Wilson, chief executive, Scottish Enterprise, said:

“This injection of funding is a very welcome boost for the BioQuarter and the life sciences sector in Scotland as a whole.  The BioQuarter is one of the largest projects of its type in Europe and this funding will allow the partners to cement Scotland’s position as one of the most dynamic locations for life sciences globally.”

The Life Sciences Sector has been identified as one of the key sectors under the Government’s New Industry New Jobs agenda.  Investment in this bioincubator is part of wider Government efforts to ensure the bioscience industry is best placed to drive future growth and prosperity, and can compete globally and continue to deliver healthcare improvements.

The bioincubator is targeted at start-up and spin-out biotechnology companies, helping to create 200 highly skilled and high value added jobs in Edinburgh over five years. It will offer access to high-cost specialised equipment, advice, mentoring and expertise to support successful product development. 

The investment was made possible by the Department for Business through the Strategic Investment Fund, which was increased from £750m to £950m in today’s Pre Budget Report. to encourage strong and sustainable economic growth across the UK.

The new bioincubator will also be supported by policy measures being delivered by the Office for Life Sciences to improve the business environment for life science companies in the UK.

Notes to editors

The Strategic Investment Fund was announced in the April 2009 Budget with £750 million for industrial innovation, job creation and growth.

In the eight months since its creation, the Strategic Investment Fund has committed to investments in Britain’s emerging industrial strengths, including low carbon vehicles, wind and wave power, life sciences and new technologies in plastics, chemicals, composites and advanced manufacturing.

European Commission research found SME success rates with Incubation support are 80-90% compared with 30-50% in the wider SME community.

Department for Business, Innovation & Skills

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is building a dynamic and competitive UK economy by: creating the conditions for business success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and giving everyone the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve this it will foster world-class universities and promote an open global economy. BIS - Investing in our future.

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