(8th February 2006)
Vice-Chancellor Professor Tim Wilson today outlined the University of Hertfordshire’s vision for its new world-class research and development centre in Welwyn Garden City.
BioPark Hertfordshire will be occupying former Roche buildings that have been taken over by the University of Hertfordshire thanks to £8 million of funding from the East of England Development Agency (EEDA).
The complex boasts high quality, fully equipped laboratories and offices, outstanding meeting and conferencing facilities and access to expertise and advice.
BioPark Hertfordshire will provide a focal point for the region’s bioscience and healthcare industries and provide ideal solutions for many ventures. The facilities will be available on a flexible basis both through short-term and long-term usage agreements.
The University of Hertfordshire currently houses small and medium sized enterprises (SMEs) in its existing labs and offices and its Innovation Centre has 15 business tenants that benefit from working from a University campus. BioPark Hertfordshire will provide an ideal location for the University to expand its links with such businesses and to provide not only world-class facilities but also opportunities for knowledge transfer between University academics and SMEs.
Professor Tim Wilson, Vice-Chancellor said: “We are very excited about the benefits this unique opportunity will bring to individual businesses and the district of Welwyn Hatfield.
“Demand for this facility from the biosciences, healthcare and wider business sectors in the region has been confirmed. The strength of the Eastern region and specifically Welwyn Hatfield in research and healthcare is growing all the time and this development will only add to this, alongside many other recent announcements including; a new hospital coming to the Hatfield Business Park in 2013, a world leading pharmaceutical company opening it’s European base in Hatfield in 2008, the opening of the University’s Postgraduate Medical School in partnership with the universities of Luton and Cranfield and the opening of the University’s School of Pharmacy.
“The University of Hertfordshire has a long standing commitment to providing services and building relationships with SMEs and is already very successful in its links with business. In June last year we became the first university in the UK to merge our business activities with our regional Business Link, Exemplas. This new initiative is another step forward in breaking down barriers to collaboration between business, the professions, the public sector and academia. Our vision is for BioPark Hertfordshire to provide an ideal environment for innovative companies to grow and prosper.”
David Marlow, chief executive of EEDA, said: “One of the East of England’s key strengths is its impressive record in research and development (R&D) which is why EEDA is supporting this project with £8 million of funding. In order to maintain our leadership position in developing and realising innovation in science technology and research it is vital we have a good provision of high quality R&D facilities. By enabling the University of Hertfordshire to purchase this fantastic facility, EEDA is helping to ensure our region’s life science companies have access to the facilities they need to develop and grow.”
John Melville, managing director of Roche in the UK, said: “We are delighted these facilities are to be used to further advances in the field of life sciences. Roche continues to have a strong presence in Welwyn Garden City having recently moved to a bespoke office-complex in Shire Park that meets the developing needs of its 1200-strong employee base.”
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