Imperial College London is to invest in a new facility at the Babraham Research Campus in Cambridge to support spin-out and scale-up companies, and maximise the impact of research from universities.
The move expands Imperial’s capacity to support fast-growing science- and technology-based companies alongside its existing London facilities, including its new research and innovation district, Imperial West in White City.
The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), Babraham Bioscience Technologies Ltd (BBT) and Imperial have signed a long-term lease on BBSRC-owned land at the Babraham Research Campus.
Professor David Gann, Vice President (Development & Innovation) at Imperial College London, said: 'We are determined to help technology spin-outs with specialist support, and the space to grow and scale-up. This collaboration strengthens our ability to create conditions for science-based ventures to flourish, opening-up new opportunities and revenue streams to support the College’s academic mission.'
The development is led by Imperial College ThinkSpace, a provider of laboratory and office workspaces.
The first tenant will be Abzena, a biopharmaceutical firm which already employs more than 90 staff on the Babraham campus. The company comprises two subsidiaries, PolyTherics and Antitope, which work together to create antibodies and proteins with enhanced therapeutic benefits. The new facility will allow scientists and support teams at both firms to be housed in the same building, and in an R&D environment that supports the work they undertake for their customers and the in-house R&D they carry out to broaden their technologies.
Imperial will construct an integrated 49,500ft2 office and laboratory building at Babraham to host enterprises established from the College’s research. It is expected to be completed in late 2016 and will be managed by BBT on behalf of Imperial.
David Parfrey, BBSRC’s Executive Director, Finance and Campus Operations, said: “Babraham is where the UK Research and Innovation Campus vision started for BBSRC. This announcement with Imperial College London represents the next stage in its evolution. Following £44m of investment over the last four years we are delighted that Imperial College has endorsed the vision of a vibrant, collaborative campus by joining us in partnership on this new project.'