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Plan to build biotechnology campus

Business secretary Lord Mandelson has announced plans to build a £37 million campus for innovation in biotechnology and drug development in Stevenage, Hertfordshire.

The Bioscience Campus could house around 25 companies, with 1,500 people, with the potential to expand to five times that size in a decade.

Its aim would be to provide a central point for leading biotechnology companies, so they can share and benefit from each other’s knowledge and findings, whilst retaining their own independence.

The project is being jointly funded by the Government, GlaxoSmithKline, The Wellcome Trust, Technology Strategy Board and the East of England Development Agency.

Speaking to the Technology Strategy Board’s Innovate ‘09 conference in London, Lord Mandelson said: “This joint investment by the public, private and charitable sectors recognises that innovation will be decisive in Britain’s recovery.

“The Stevenage Campus represents a huge investment in the future of Britain’s bioscience industry and is a strong new platform for the work of our Office for Life Sciences.

“It will leverage our existing strengths as a world leader in the sector, helping it to grow and reinforcing our international competitiveness. And ultimately it will help us build towards a stronger UK economy coming out of the global downturn.”