The Edinburgh BioQuarter is a bioscience community based near the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh and the Queen's Medical Research Centre in Edinburgh, close to the Roslin Institute for Animal Biology. It is Scotland's key initiative in the development of its life sciences industry, which employs more than 30,000 people in 600 companies.
In 2007, Scottish Enterprise completed a series of land deals which cleared a 55-acre site for development adjacent to the existing Royal Infimary of Edinburgh and the creation of the BioQuarter was announced. In early 2010, Dr Mike Capaldi joined BioQuarter as Commercialisation Director and the development of an executive team and business creation programme were launched.
From 2011, it will be joined at this location by the Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine, giving the BioQuarter one of the highest concentrations of research classed officially by the government as “internationally leading” (four-star, according to the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise).
Facilities and Companies
Edinburgh BioQuarter currently co-locates an 1000+-bed teaching hospital, the Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, with the Queen’s Medical Research Institute (ranked #1 in the UK for clinical medical research, according to the 2008 research assessment exercise) and the Clinical Research Imaging Centre, or CRIC, opened by HM the Duke of Edinburgh in late 2010.
Over the last three years, Edinburgh has attracted 53% of all Wellcome Trust grants in Scotland and 62% of Medical Research Council (MRC) funding in Scotland, making it a major centre of research income.
In November 2011, a new bioincubator building will come on stream offering 80,000 square feet (7,400 m2) of office and laboratory space, as well as the new Scottish Centre for Regenerative Medicine (SCRM), headed by Professor Sir Ian Wilmut, creator of “Dolly the Sheep.” This new centre will apply Scotland’s world-leading stem cell research to new therapies for conditions such as Parkinson's disease, multiple sclerosis and other conditions.
By 2016, the new Edinburgh Sick Children's Hospital will be located at the BioQuarter, together with the Scottish Mind and Body Institute, a cross-disciplinary centre aimed at finding cures or therapies for neurological conditions.
Companies based at Edinburgh BioQuarter
Part of BioQuarter’s purpose is to create new companies based on medical research being undertaken in the NHS and at the University of Edinburgh. For this purpose it has created an innovation competition, offering prizes worth £45,000 to researchers in all disciplines at the University of Edinburgh and NHS Lothian. The first round of these prizes will be awarded in March 2011.
Companies currently located at or associated with the BioQuarter community include:
- Fios Genomics – genomic and bioinformatics data analysis services for drug discovery & development
- Immunosolv – technologies and products for the removal of dead cells
- TPP Global Development - a drug development company with offices in London and Edinburgh
- I2Eye Ltd – visual field impairment testing for small children and special needs groups
- NeuroORG – management consultancy that shapes organisational behaviour on the basis of neurological science
Further companies are expected to join the BioQuarter community over the next twelve months as the process of company formation gathers pace. In addition, licensing deals and other partnerships with major international pharmaceutical companies and equipment manufacturers will add to the number of organisations housed at the BioQuarter.