£4m gift for innovation centre

August 31, 2001

Nottingham Trent University is leading proposals for a biomedical science innovation centre that will accommodate research and development for universities in the Midlands.

The move follows a donation of a £4 million city complex, formerly used as pharmaceutical sciences research laboratories, to Nottingham Trent from the chemical company BASF.

The 100,000 square ft complex, which ranks among the largest corporate donations to a new university in the United Kingdom, features world-class laboratories and state-of-the-art equipment.

A key aim of the centre will be to focus the biomedical research potential of universities in the region, particularly at the transfer-technology stage.

Alan Meers, Nottingham Trent's director of business development, said: "We envisage a mixture of units coming in, including mature research and development companies, emerging biotechnology companies that might be in their first phase of development, and incubation units, which will either come from universities or we hope will want to work with universities."

He said: "For these facilities to work, we will need other universities to come in alongside us and we have started discussions with institutions in the region."

Nottingham Trent aims to establish a consortium of business partners to operate the centre. Initial feasibility studies have demonstrated strong regional support from institutions, companies and agencies, including the East Midlands Regional Development Agency.

Ray Cowell, Nottingham Trent's vice-chancellor, said: "We're absolutely delighted to have been offered such a substantial donation from BASF. The science innovation centre is an exciting and forward-thinking concept that would build on the powerful culture of enterprise already fostered at Nottingham Trent."

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