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Roslin BioCentre strikes innovation deal in Scotland

New commercial venture to develop site donated by big pharma.

18 January 2012

Innovation and growth in the biosciences have received a major boost in Scotland with the creation of a new collaborative venture that will be hosted in work-ready bioscience laboratories with an infrastructure ripe for expansion and investment.

The newly-formed BioCity Scotland Ltd, a joint venture between BioCity Nottingham and the Roslin BioCentre, has acquired the former MSD research facility at Newhouse, Lanarkshire in order to develop a dedicated base in central Scotland for growing bioscience, pharmaceutical, medical technology companies. Roslin BioCentre is owned and supported in part by BBSRC.

BioCity Nottingham's success in nurturing and growing over 70 new companies since 2003 and the Roslin BioCentre's expertise in life sciences innovation and facilities management makes this a potential fruitful partnership.

The Newhouse site, located right in the heart of the central belt of Scotland – 15 miles from Glasgow and 33 miles from Edinburgh – has been gifted to BioCity Scotland by pharmaceutical company MSD, which operates in the US and Canada as Merck & Co. The agreement unlocks over 130,000 sq ft of purpose-built laboratories and offices on the 23-acre site capable of supporting independent, innovative companies. In addition there are administrative and conference facilities to support growth and networking opportunities.

The idea is to rapidly grow BioCity Scotland by meeting the need for start-up and grow-on space, especially for firms from Glasgow and the west. BioCity Scotland hopes tenants will be part of a vibrant new community having access to a wide range of highly-specialised equipment to suit chemistry, pharmacology and bioscience requirements.

The Roslin BioCentre is located on the south side of Edinburgh and jointly owned by the Roslin Foundation, a thriving science park that accommodates an array of world-leading R&D companies, and BBSRC.