Jump to navigation Jump to content

Anna Stamp on how Edinburgh BioQuarter will tackle global health challenges


Already on course to break through its £8 billion turnover target by 2025, Scotland’s life sciences sector is not resting on its laurels.

Last month we announced the exciting news of our plans to transform Edinburgh BioQuarter through a £750 million development that will expand the existing site to 160 acres, adding more specialist research and health innovation accommodation, business incubators and space for homes and leisure facilities. Our announcement was followed by the news that the Tay Cities Biomedical Cluster has been earmarked for £25m funding through the Tay Cities Deal. The future of life sciences in Scotland is indeed bright.

Over the last two decades, Edinburgh BioQuarter has played a pivotal role in cultivating world-leading medical research and life sciences innovation that is improving people’s lives around the world. Our partnership brings together local and national government, the National Health Service and one of the world’s most prestigious universities that has been leading medical education, training and research for the past 300 years. BioQuarter is already home to 8,000 people who work and study within its boundary.

This includes many award-winning life sciences businesses based at NINE, Scottish Enterprise’s Innovation Centre, the globally-renowned Edinburgh Medical School, 900-bed Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh, leading medical research institutes and one of Europe’s largest clusters of stem cell scientists at the Centre for Regenerative Medicine.

Taking a new drug or medical technology from concept to patient can be a long and often expensive journey; many fail due to a lack of access, investment and expertise. BioQuarter offers a truly “translational” solution to this issue thanks to the colocation of clinical scientists, patients, specialist facilities and businesses all in one place.

We have a once in a lifetime opportunity to develop a new brand of Science Park, a Health Innovation District that will ensure Edinburgh strengthens its position as a global leader in developing new treatments and cures. Our long-term vision is a place where researchers and clinicians mingle with academics, students, entrepreneurs and business investors to create a unique environment with wellbeing at its core.

Once completed, BioQuarter will be a vibrant new neighbourhood that will support more than 20,000 people, a 24/7/365 community.

With £500m already invested in building BioQuarter, and a further £300m planned in the next five years, we now seek a private sector partner to share our vision and values.

We want to create a place where great things can happen in the battle to tackle global health challenges, and where people will want to live as well as work, study and relax, ensuring Scotland’s life sciences sector continues to punch above its weight for years to come.

Source: The Scotsman (26th March 2020) and first published in the spring 2020 edition of The Scotsman’s Vision.