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Norwich Launches BBSRC Research Business Center

By a GenomeWeb staff reporter

NEW YORK (GenomeWeb News) – A UK government-funded biotechnology center launched this week in Norwich Research Park (NRP) in Eastern England that will support commercialization of research from NRP and small businesses.

The Norwich Research Park Innovation Centre (NRPIC) provides office and lab space for researchers funded by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BSBRC).

The NRP already houses three BBSRC-funded non-clinical life sciences research institutes including the Genome Analysis Centre, the Institute of Food Research, and the John Innes Centre.

BBSRC Chief Executive Douglas Kell said in a statement that the research at the NRP site attracted £26 million ($42 million) in additional funding from the UK government to develop the NRPIC project.

"This facility will play a key role in supporting BBSRC-funded researchers and others in the East of England region to ensure that their discoveries can lead to new products, technologies, services, and advice that is of social and economic benefit to us all," Kell said.

"The NRP represents a unique partnership between world-class research institutes, which receive strategic funding from BBSRC; the Norfolk & Norwich University Hospital; local authorities, who have been very supportive; land owners; and the New Anglia Local Enterprise Partnership," BBSRC Director of Finance and Chairman of Colney Innovations David Parfrey added.

Parfrey said that the NRPIC "is the first of a number of buildings planned on the NRP," which he said will "bode well" for the economy of Norwich and Norfolk.

The Innovation Centre is managed by Colney Innovations Limited, a biotech facilities management group that is jointly owned by the BBSRC, the University of East Anglia, the John Innes Centre, and the Institute of Food Research.

Facilities at the 43,000-square-foot NRPIC building include tailored wet labs and offices, virtual offices, biological and biochemical waste, business center services, and access to NRP's conference and meeting facilities and libraries.

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