A new Technology and Innovation Centre in Cell Therapy will open in London and receive funding of up to £50 million, the Technology Strategy Board announced. The new cell therapy centre, due to open in April 2012, is part of a £220 million programme to boost technology and manufacturing in the UK.
David Willetts, Minister of State for Universities and Science, said: 'Cell-based therapies have the potential to bring huge benefits to patients. The UK should be at the forefront of this exciting area, which will boost our economy as well as save lives'.
The cell therapy industry is expected to be worth £3.1 billion by 2014, with even greater growth predicted beyond that. The centre will also integrate the contributions of academic researchers in Universities including Cambridge, Edinburgh, Newcastle, Loughborough and University College London.
London was chosen as the location for the centre due to its universities, hospitals and clinical infrastructure, as well as its international reputation. Business Secretary Vince Cable expressed that 'this investment 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 help kick-start the economy', he added.
In addition to the money from the Technology Strategy Board, contracts with UK business will form about one third of the overall funding for the centre. Further funds are expected from competitive research and development grants, including EU funding.
The cell therapy research centre is the second technology and innovation centre to be established with government investment. The first, the High Value Manufacturing centre formed from a group of research facilities around the country, has already opened.