Luxembourg, 07 Oct 2002
The European Investment Bank has signed a loan for an amount of EUR 28 million to support infrastructure development for BioValley, the biotech facility management arm of the Turku Science Park, Finland. BioValley has a remit to develop and provide affordable incubator infrastructure to young biotechnology companies with a focus on research. The EIB loan contributes to development of European R&D and the dissemination of innovation, in line with the Bank's Innovation 2000 Initiative.
Wholly owned by the city of Turku and located in south/west Finland, BioValley fills the gap between the city's leading research in life sciences and the strong pharmaceutical industry in the region. The EIB supported project forms part of a wider plan to establish the Turku area as a leading centre for biotechnology in Finland.
Mr Ewald Nowotny, the EIB Vice-president responsible for Finland, said: "EIB is pleased to support investment in this key infrastructure nurturing young biotechnology enterprises, building upon the city of Turku's renowned university research in life sciences. It will help develop Turku as one of the leading life science clusters in the Nordic countries. This loan is also important as it complements EIB group's Venture Capital efforts via European Investment Fund (EIF) investing in funds, including a specialised biotechnology fund, which has already invested in a biotechnology company already housed in Bio Valley premises. With this type of integrated action EIB Group demonstrates value added in terms of contributing towards a knowledge-based society and development of research based industries in the Nordic region."
The investment meets the EIB´s aims under its Innovation 2000 Initiative (i2i) programme to support new facilities in fields such as biotechnology, microelectronics and information technology. "Biotechnology and information & communication technology are also the core competencies of the Turku Science Park, and biotechnology has been named a key area in the City´s strategy", says Armas Lahoniitty, Mayor of the City of Turku.
The bioscience strategy in the Turku region aims at ensuring the functioning of the whole bio-chain. "The success of Turku Bio Valley depends on the functioning of the entire chain, and the key word is co-operation between universities, companies, the City of Turku and financiers, states Juhani Leppä, Managing Director of Turku Bio Valley Ltd.
Turku BioValley has as primary function to construct and own premises, including offices, laboratories and production facilities. A typical BioValley client is a small, pharmaceutical or biotechnology start-up company financed by venture capital and willing to use existing funds for core operations, such as R&D, rather than own premises.
Bio Valley is one of the largest single location biotechnology clusters in the Nordic countries and an integral part of a comprehensive development plan for the region's biotechnology industry aiming to create an uninterrupted bioscience chain from training and research all the way to commercialisation, product development and production. Within this context Turku Bio Valley has a dual role.
The project comprises five new purpose-built buildings, aimed at biomedical production and research, totalling 31,000 square meters. The buildings will include production spaces as well as product development, laboratory and office space in support of production. Special requirements on temperature, humidity and cleanness of the inner air and the restriction of possible emission to the environment have been considered in the design.
For further information, please contact Turku Bio Valley Ltd., Communications Director Katja Wallenlind,tel +358 - 2 - 4788 807, GSM +358 - 50- 5774 807,
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