Government-backed Glaswegian centre to work with Kent-based R&D unit
A Scottish Government-backed innovation centre focused on accelerating advances in the biotechnology sector has signed a collaboration deal with longstanding Kent-based counterpart Discovery Park.
The Sandwich-based research and development facility has been in operation since the 1950s and is home to organisations including Pfizer, Centauri Therapeutics and Concept Life Sciences.
Scotland’s Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre (IBioIC), meawhile, was one of seven innovation centres launched with Scottish Government backing in 2012 and aims to foster collaboration between industry, academia and government.
It is intended the deal will create opportunities for organisations operating at both locations and will enable Discovery Park, which is known for its work on drug discovery and manufacture, to develop its focus on industrial biotechnology, which offers a green alternative to fossil fuels.
IBioIC chief executive Mark Bustard said: “The innovation centre plays an important role in supporting the growth of the UK’s bioeconomy, connecting industry partners with world-leading research teams to explore alternative bio-based materials and processes across a range of sectors. So far, we have supported more than 200 companies to bring new products to the global market and connecting with IB research and science hubs such as the Discovery Park will no doubt unlock further opportunities. Almost £30m of additional industry investment has been generated as a direct result of IBioIC innovation activities to date, contributing to more than 3,000 high-value green jobs.”
Discovery Park chief business officer Jane Kennedy added: “The Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre has undoubtedly done a fantastic job of catalysing the growth of the sector in Scotland. It is clear to me that joining the IBioIC offers Discovery Park opportunities to collaborate and make connections between my tenant companies in Kent with the fast-growing network in Scotland. We hope to bring together companies that can learn from each other how to turn great ideas into great businesses.”