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£50million Technology and Innovation Centre to come to London

£50million Technology and Innovation Centre to come to London

The Technology Strategy Board has announced details of its new £50million Technology and Innovation Centre in Cell Therapy, citing London as the most suitable location.

The centre will support the development and commercialisation of cell therapies and advanced therapeutics, as well as the underpinning technologies for manufacturing, quality control, safety and efficiency. Over the next five years, it will receive £10m per annum funding from the TSB in collaboration with the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills.

According to the TSB, London was chosen as a site due to its high number of hospitals and clinical infrastructure, logistics, universities and reputation as an international business hub.

An interim steering group will be established, comprising members of the TSB governing board and industry partners. For a limited time, the TSB will work with the interim steering group to appoint a leadership team and board for the centre. This, it says, will help shape the direction and operational vision for the centre, which will also draw out integrate contributions from academic researchers in Universities such as Cambridge, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Loughborough and University College London.

Ian Gray, chief executive of the Technology Strategy Board, said: "The cell therapy industry is expected to be worth £3.1billion by 2014 with even greater growth predicted beyond that. With an established technology and innovation in cell therapy, the UK will be ideally positioned to gain a substantial share of this young industry due to its leading position in the science of stem cells and regenerative medicine, its supportive regulatory environment, the NHS as a potential lead market, access to mature capital markets and established pharmaceutical, biotechnology, medical device and blood transfusion industry sectors."

Business Secretary, Vince Cable, added: "This £50m investment in a cell therapy technology and innovation centre is great news for London and for the growth of stem cell research in the UK. We need to provide businesses with the opportunity to turn their innovations into commercial products that can change the face of science and technology and help kick start the economy. A dedicated centre will provide opportunities to deliver major health benefits to the public by developing cell therapies which could transform the lives of people with serious or chronic illnesses, such as Parkinson's disease."

As well as the TSB funding, direct contracts with UK business will form about one third of the overall funding for the centre, which will also be well positioned to secure funding from competitive R&D grants such as EU funding.

Chris Shaw

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