The University of Leicester has applied for £5 million of government funding to create an innovation centre which will create hundreds of hi-tech jobs within the biological, pharmaceutical and medical technology industries.
Funding will be used to launch the centre which will be located on Charnwood Campus, the former AstraZeneca complex in Loughborough which has just been designated the UK's first Life Sciences Opportunity Zone.
The aim is for the centre to attract start-ups and growing businesses whilst also supporting existing research taking place at the university.
If successful, government funding would also be used to hire support staff and refurbish labs, with the innovation centre potentially opening towards the end of this year.
Recently, the University of Leicester also announced plans for a £75 million Space Park that will support satellite development.
Professor Philip Baker, who heads up the university's College of Medicine, Biological Sciences and Psychology, said: "The Life Sciences development at the Charnwood campus will greatly strengthen our partnerships with industry, and will accelerate the translation of these exciting scientific discoveries to create commercial benefit, and to advance patient care."
Supporting the life sciences sector
The Government recently outlined its commitment to support the life sciences sector, and it is hoped that the centre will be a key component of the Midlands Engine.
Gosia Khrais, commercial and marketing director at Charnwood Campus said: "We have been working tirelessly on developing Charnwood Campus into a thriving and successful centre of excellence.”
Leicester and Leicestershire Enterprise Partnership, Leicester University and other partners including 3M and Almac were all vital in bringing Life Science Opportunity Zone to fruition.
Simon Holmes, business leader of 3M's health care markets, said: "As a future occupant of Charnwood Campus, we look forward to being at the centre of the development of this valuable asset on both a local and global stage.
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