STEVENAGE, England, June 18, 2012 /PRNewswire/ --
Innovative way of working for UK life sciences
Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC), the UK's first open innovation bioscience campus, is pleased to announce that it will be the location of a centre of innovation for Cambridge University. Attracted by the collaborative environment being developed by SBC, its tenants and its stakeholders, and advantages such as proximity to GlaxoSmithKline (GSK), the academic institution is keen to work with diverse partners to generate new medicines.
SBC and its current stakeholders - GSK, the Wellcome Trust, the Technology Strategy Board, and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills - believe that the establishment of a world-class academic presence provides a significant validation of the approach they are developing for sector rejuvenation. This innovative way of working with the University will serve as a catalyst for similar relationships with other leading universities, and strengthen its links to the Cambridge biocluster, SBC believes.
Dr Allan Baxter, Chairman of Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, said, 'We are delighted that Cambridge University will base this exciting new initiative at Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst. It is the first step in realising the vision of our stakeholders - to create a dynamic environment which accelerates the translation of new ideas into valuable medicines and medical technologies, and we will continue to bring in other academic, pharmaceutical and biotechnology partners.'
Professor Sir Leszek Borysiewicz, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge said, 'This is a highly innovative way to develop publicly funded scientific research to create new medicines to treat disease, bringing together partners with shared goals and capitalising on what each does best. Cambridge is constantly searching for new and more effective ways to get its research out into the world where it can make a difference; working with our many partners, including companies such as GSK.'
 The East of England Development Agency (EEDA) was a founder stakeholder
About Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst
Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst is the UK's first open innovation bioscience campus, pioneering a unique culture to drive early stage drug discovery and development. It is backed by £38m of funding from its founding partners - GlaxoSmithKline, the Wellcome Trust, the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills, the Technology Strategy Boardand the former East of England Development Agency. Consisting of an Incubator, an Accelerator and a Hub, covering 60,000 sq ft of laboratory, office and networking space, the independent facility is expected to house a range of companies, from virtual and start-up firms to those which are more established, as well as other organisations. Located on the GlaxoSmithKline Stevenage site, Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst is in the unique position of operating in proximity to the expertise and resources of a major pharmaceutical company, close to both London and Cambridge. For more information, please go to http://www.stevenagecatalyst.com.
About Open Innovation
Firms using Open Innovation (OI) combine their own R&D with externally sourced ideas and expertise. OI is characterised by highly effective use of connections and networks to exchange knowledge and ideas, external partners being involved at all stages of product development, equitable win-win business relationships, and new business models to maximise the value of intellectual property and other assets. Examples in various sectors have shown that the benefits of OI include reduced time to market for new products and services, access to new markets, improved innovation success rates and increased profits. SBC will promote use of Open Innovation within the life sciences sector, connecting SMEs with an active network consisting of GlaxoSmithKline and its other stakeholders, academia, charities, other businesses and funding bodies. The term 'Open Innovation' and related research into its practice has been developed extensively by Professor Henry Chesbrough, Executive Director of the Program in Open Innovation at the University of California, Berkeley (http://openinnovation.berkeley.edu).
About the University of Cambridge
The University of Cambridge's mission is to contribute to society through the pursuit of education, learning and research at the highest international levels of excellence. It admits the very best and brightest students, regardless of background, and offers one of the UK's most generous bursary schemes. The University of Cambridge's reputation for excellence is known internationally and reflects the scholastic achievements of its academics and students, as well as the world-class original research carried out by its staff. Some of the most significant scientific breakthroughs occurred at the University, including the splitting of the atom, invention of the jet engine and the discoveries of stem cells, plate tectonics, pulsars and the structure of DNA. From Isaac Newton to Stephen Hawking, the University has nurtured some of history's greatest minds and has produced more Nobel Prize winners than any other UK institution with over 80 laureates. For more information on the University of Cambridge, go to http://www.cam.ac.uk
GSK aims to improve the quality of human life by enabling people to do more, feel better and live longer. This mission gives us the purpose to develop innovative medicines and products that help millions of people around the world. Every hour we spend more than £300,000 (US$562,000) in our search for new medicines that can make a difference to patients. We are one of the pharmaceutical industry leaders, with an estimated seven per cent of the world's pharmaceutical market and one of the few companies researching both medicines and vaccines for the World Health Organization's three priority diseases - HIV/AIDS, tuberculosis and malaria. As a company with a firm foundation in science, we have a flair for research and a track record of turning that research into powerful, marketable drugs.
About the Wellcome Trust
The Wellcome Trust is a global charitable foundation dedicated to achieving extraordinary improvements in human and animal health. It supports the brightest minds in biomedical research and the medical humanities. The Trust's breadth of support includes public engagement, education and the application of research to improve health. It is independent of both political and commercial interests. http://www.wellcome.ac.uk
About the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills
The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) is building a dynamic and competitive UK economy by: creating the conditions for business success; promoting innovation, enterprise and science; and giving everyone the skills and opportunities to succeed. To achieve this it will foster world-class universities and promote an open global economy. BIS - Investing in our future.
About the Technology Strategy Board
The Technology Strategy Board works to drive economic growth by making the UK a global leader in innovation. Established by the government, the Technology Strategy Board helps business to innovate faster and more effectively than would otherwise be possible. It uses its expertise, connections and funding to enable collaborations and partnerships between businesses, researchers and government, and to help business to create innovative products and services which will meet market needs, tackle the challenges of our time and build the economy of tomorrow. http://www.innovateuk.org
EEDA's mission was to improve the economy of the East of England through helping businesses prosper, supporting people to be the best they can and breathing new life into places. Working with others it helped improve the lives of thousands of people with investments that will continue to have an impact for decades to come. EEDA worked across the six counties of Bedfordshire, Cambridgeshire, Essex, Hertfordshire, Norfolk and Suffolk , and unitary authorities of Central Bedfordshire, Bedford, Luton, Peterborough, Southend-on-Sea and Thurrock. In the Emergency Budget of 22 June 2010, the government confirmed its intention to abolish all regional development agencies and replace them with Local Enterprise Partnerships. EEDA closed in March 2012.
For more information, please contact:
Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst
Martino Picardo, CEO +44(0)1438-906906
Emma Palmer Foster, Strategic Communications Consultant +44(0)7880-787185
SOURCE Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst