£40m has been invested to create a hub to drive health innovation and life sciences company growth in Aberdeen.
With a goal to double the number of life sciences companies in North East Scotland and support the national ambitions for the sector to collaborate, innovate and commercialise the next generation of therapies and healthcare solutions, the hub has been hailed as “transformational”.
The project supports the goals of regional economic diversification, growing the Scottish sector to £8bn turnover by 2025, and creating a globally-unique and internationally competitive life sciences ecosystem in the UK with collaboration across industry, the NHS, academia and research funders delivering health and wealth.
The Bio-therapeutics Hub for Innovation in Aberdeen will be a focal point for sector ambition and growth and has secured £20m of capital funding from the UK and Scottish Governments through the Aberdeen City Region Deal (CRD), a partnership between Aberdeen City and Aberdeenshire Councils and private sector led economic development body Opportunity North East (ONE).
The innovation hub will be located on the Foresterhill Health Campus in Aberdeen – one of Europe’s largest integrated clinical, research, teaching and commercial health sites. The 69,000 sqft new-build facility will include accommodation for spin-outs, start-ups and established companies; collaboration space; and shared facilities for events, small conferences and networking. Sector-specific support programmes in the hub will include incubation, acceleration, mentoring, commercialisation and growth planning. The hub will also be a catalyst for international collaborations and investment into research and companies.
It will open in December 2020.
ONE has committed an additional £3.6m of its own funding over seven years to operate the hub and deliver the bespoke support activity that will make Aberdeen one of the most dynamic environments to create and grow life sciences businesses.
Prof Stephen Logan, Chair of the ONE Life Sciences sector board, said: “This is a transformational project of national significance that supports the regional economic goal of diversification and will contribute to the national ambitions for life sciences as a driver for health and wealth.
“The hub will realise the opportunity to collaborate and innovate to bring forward the next generation of medical therapies and products and our target is to double the size of the company base by 2027. The hub will accelerate company creation and growth, anchor growing businesses and high-value jobs here long term.”
Dave Tudor, Co-Chair of The Life Sciences Scotland Industry Leadership Group, said: “The triple helix of industry, researchers and clinicians working together brings together the strengths of the region to create an ambitious and connected life sciences sector that is ideally positioned to maximise commercialisation opportunities, whether in bio-therapeutics or other healthcare fields.”
The project has been developed by the ONE Life Sciences sector board, University of Aberdeen, Robert Gordon University, NHS Grampian and Scottish Enterprise and the ONE team is leading its delivery.