Minister for Universities and Science Performs Topping-Out Ceremony at Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst

By Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, PRNE
Wednesday, July 13, 2011

STEVENAGE, England, July 14, 2011 -

Rt Hon David Willetts MP Launches Key
Phase of Bioincubator Development

Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst (SBC), the UK’s first open
innovation bioscience campus, is pleased to announce that its
topping-out ceremony will be performed today by the Rt Hon David
Willetts MP, Minister for Universities and Science. The ceremony, a
symbolic celebration of laying the final portion of cement, marks a
milestone in the project’s construction. The incubator now enters
its final phase of building prior to opening at the beginning of

The topping-out ceremony will be followed by speeches from
Martino Picardo, CEO of SBC, the Rt Hon David Willetts MP, Patrick
, Senior Vice President of Medicines Discovery and
Development, GlaxoSmithKIine, and Ted Bianco, Director of
Technology Transfer, Wellcome Trust. The Minister will then be
updated on progress at SBC and some of the key features of the
project, such as the extensive use of photovoltaic panels to
capture solar energy.

Martino Picardo, CEO of the Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst, says
‘The Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst team is delighted that the
Minister is joining us to celebrate the progress of this key
multi-stakeholder investment in UK life sciences. We would like to
recognise the hard work so far of Mace, our builder, and the
contractors that work with it, as well as the ongoing support of
our stakeholders. In its role as an Open Innovation incubator, SBC
will facilitate the development of a range of companies, from
virtual and start-up firms to more established ones, thereby
helping to rejuvenate the UK life sciences sector. As we move
towards our opening next year, we are therefore actively engaging
with potential tenants, academia, charities and funding bodies such
as venture capital organisations.’

Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, says,
‘The SBC will provide start-ups with vital access to expert
knowledge and research, strong links with leading pharmaceutical
companies and high quality facilities. This will help them develop
cutting edge medical advances. This important milestone is another
step towards sustainable growth with businesses coming together to
share ideas with world leaders. Working together at all stages will
encourage new products and quicker development.’

Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst is a joint venture between the
Department of Business, Innovation & Skills, GlaxoSmithKline,
the Wellcome Trust, the East of England Development Agency and the
Technology Strategy Board. The £38m development will be an
independent bioscience facility and is due to open in Q1 2012.

About Stevenage Bioscience

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[1], the
Wellcome Trust[2], the Department for Business,
Innovation and Skills[3], the Technology Strategy
Board[4] and the East of England Development
Agency[5]. Scheduled to open in Q1 2012, buildings in
Phase 1 of the development consist 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. 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 href="">

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
( href="">

About GlaxoSmithKline

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

About EEDA

EEDA’s mission has been 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 we have helped improve the lives of thousands of people with
investments that will continue to have an impact for decades to
come. EEDA works 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 (RDAs) and replace them
with Local Enterprise Partnerships. EEDA will close by March 2012.
to find out more.

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

About the Technology Strategy

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.

[1] href=""> Janet Morgan, href="">, +44(0)20-8047-5502

[2] href="">
 Jen Middleton, href="">,

[3] href=""> Emma
, href="">,

[4] href="">
Emma Griffiths, href="">,

[5] href=""> Edward
Palferman, href="">,

Photos will be available upon request

For more information, please contact:

Stevenage Bioscience Catalyst

Martino Picardo, CEO

Emma Palmer Foster
Strategic Communications Consultant

Rt Hon David Willetts MP
Emma Griffiths, Press Office
Department for Business, Innovation & Skills


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