Bam Construction has been appointed to build the £50m Living Systems Institute research centre for the University of Exeter.
Wates was awarded the contract through the Construction Framework South West in March 2013, but the University of Exeter announced in January 2014 that it would seek a new contractor for the project after discussions failed to reach an agreement on budget.
Bam will now replace Wates on the main contract, with a construction value of £32m.
The contractor said its experience of working in the region and its strong local supplier base was a “major advantage” in securing the project.
Bam Construction director Graham Kingdon said: “We have worked hard over a number of years to create our supply chain in the South-west. We now have a number of trusted, quality companies we can ask to price work for us.
“This allows us to find the best suppliers at the best prices and ensure we can deliver world class facilities in Devon and Cornwall even at times of economic hardship.”
Mr Kingdon said the building would “throw up plenty of challenges” but Bam would “overcome these and deliver a world class research facility that meets the University’s quality requirements”.
Bam will build two linked buildings on a split level site, with a nine-storey tower block and a six-storey slab block with three basement levels.
It will also oversee the fit out of the centre, including laboratories and complex services, working with mechanical and electrical contractor NG Bailey.
The contractor will use a local supply chain to deliver the project and will offer apprenticeships and learning opportunities for students at the university.
It will feature solar panels, high levels of insulation and a combined heat and power plant to achieve a BREEAM Excellent rating.
The new research centre will bring together mathematicians, scientists and engineers in a bid to revolutionise the diagnosis and treatment of a wide range of human, animal and plant diseases.
Main construction works will start this summer, with sectional completion in March 2016 and overall completion scheduled for May 2016.