Major expansion of research and development facilities at The Centre for Life

The Centre for Life has unveiled plans which will help develop Newcastle’s position as a world leader in the fields of innovation and research.

Following the Centre’s recent success in gaining a licence to undertake therapeutic cloning research, which received international recognition, plans are now being considered for a major expansion of its research and development facilities which have reached capacity in the last few months.

Alastair Balls, Chief Executive of the Centre for Life, said, “This development is essential if the region is to lead on innovation and retain and expand upon the skills of our existing world- leading medical research teams. In the long term it will allow us to capture the major potential of downstream activity in both the research and commercial sector, and attract to the city other related biotechnology research and application companies.”

The development, which would be known as Newcastle Technopolis, focuses on land to the south of the Centre, between the Redheugh Bridge and the King Edward Bridge and bounding the north bank of the River Tyne, much of which is currently derelict. This would create an area totalling some 500,000 sq ft, twice the size of the Centre for Life, devoted to research and development. It is envisaged that the work would take between five to ten years to complete but once in place would be of major architectural stature and act as a prominent gateway to the City. This mix of research and development copies similar successful developments in the Far East such as Singapore.

Alastair Balls added, “Newcastle Technopolis would provide further buildings for research, clinical and commercial development and have the potential to attract major pharmaceutical companies. It could create opportunities for growth resulting from One North East’s Strategy for Success and Centres of Excellence.”

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