Lord Sainsbury to officially open The Sheffield Bioincubator

Minister for Science and Innovation Lord Sainsbury will officially open The Sheffield Bioincubator on Friday 10 February 2006. Responsible for promoting world-class science and innovation, Lord Sainsbury is the perfect candidate to open the new world-class facilities which are aimed at developing young bioscience companies in Sheffield.

The £6.9 m Sheffield Bioincubator is a newly constructed facility which delivers extensive services ranging from top-class laboratory and office spaces to links with specialised business support. Backed by significant funding from the University of Sheffield and South Yorkshire Objective One, and strongly supported by Yorkshire Forward, the Bioincubator is the first regional effort to develop an entrepreneurial bioscience cluster within South Yorkshire.

Near to both of the city's Universities, The Sheffield Bioincubator also allows young companies to engage with an established and highly regarded community of leading University researchers and access state of the art facilities.

Lord Sainsbury said: "Universities have a central part to play in maximising opportunities created by new developments in science and technology. The Sheffield Bioincubator is a perfect example of how universities can support new high-tech businesses, stimulating more knowledge transfer in terms of licensing, patents, spin-off companies and contract work for industry.
"I am delighted to be opening a facility which will bring talented entrepreneurs from around the world, who are attracted by the quality of the Bioincubator's facilities and the strong links it has with Sheffield's Universities, to exploit cutting-edge research and set up high-tech companies. It will be a great asset to the region and the UK as a whole."

Mark Tock, The Sheffield Bioincubator's Manager, said: "Lord Sainsbury is responsible for promoting world-class science and innovation in the UK, something the incubator echoes perfectly. Not only is it a real honour to have such a key figure in the world of technology and innovation to open the new facility, it is also an excellent opportunity to raise the profile of the Bioscience sector within the region."

During his time in the city, Lord Sainsbury will also visit the state-of-the-art Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre with Boeing. There, AMRC researchers will demonstrate to the different high-tech projects currently underway for new and next generation aircraft.

Mr. Adrian Allen, Commercial Director of the AMRC, said: "We consider our research a success not only when companies like Messier-Dowty win multi-million pound projects for Boeing's 787 Dreamliner, but also when we can help one person in the region keep, or create a job. We hope to demonstrate to Lord Sainsbury how the growing relationship between the University of Sheffield and Boeing has helped accomplish both these goals."

Notes for Editors: Further information can be found at www.sheffieldbioincubator.com

To arrange an interview or for further information please contact: Lindsey Bird, Media Relations Officer on 0114 2225338 or email l.bird@sheffield.ac.uk or Mark Tock, The Sheffield Bioincubator Manager, on 0114 222 7447.