Brussels, 01 Sep 2004
The Scottish Centre for Genomic Technology and Informatics (SCGTI) at Edinburgh University is set to receive 4.5 million GBP (6.6 million euro) to accelerate the development of new products, back company spin-outs, and boost the country's growing reputation as a pioneer in life science research and development (R&D).
The money, which is partly provided by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF), is expected to put Edinburgh in the world's top ten locations for biomedical R&D, creating thousands of jobs and bringing 440 million GBP (654 million euro) a year to the local economy.
The funding will 'encourage commercial research to interact with academic expertise and clinical practice,' said Peter Ghazal, director of the SCGTI.
At present, although there is plenty of expertise in emerging sciences in Scotland, it tends to be contained within academic research institutes. It is hoped that the latest funding will reduce the barriers to the uptake of new technologies by the wider biotechnology industry.
'The science and technology developments flowing from the mapping of the human genome are transforming biomedical research. However there is still a lack of understanding about how we can harness these so-called 'post-genomic technologies' in the biotechnology industry and beyond,' said Dr Ghazal.
'We aim to break down such barriers and work closely with industry towards a better understanding of how innovative new drugs and other medical products can best be developed. In addition, we in the academic sector can import fresh business practices into our research environment by the development of stronger commercial links,' added Dr Ghazal.
Infrastructure and development work on the centre for biomedical research project is expected to start early in 2005.