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Construction starts on Imperial BioIncubator

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External Sites:
-London Development Agency
-Imperial Innovations
(Imperial College is not responsible for the content of these external internet sites)

For immediate use
Thursday 1 December 2005

Imperial Innovations, the technology commercialisation company based at Imperial College London, announces today the start of construction of the Imperial BioIncubator, to promote and develop a new generation of spin-out companies.

The two-storey, 24,000 square foot building, will be located at Imperial's South Kensington campus in central London. Construction starts the beginning of December and the facility is expected to be ready for occupancy in April 2006.

The Imperial BioIncubator will promote the commercialisation of innovative research

Imperial BioIncubator is jointly funded with £4m from Imperial College and £3m from the London Development Agency (LDA). Imperial Innovations, which is responsible for the operation and management of the BioIncubator, has appointed Michele Brunton as the Centre Manager. Michele is an experienced incubator manager, having been the Director of Incubation and Commercialisation at the Technology Centre of New Jersey, and prior to that the manager of the New Jersey Institute of Technology's, Technology Incubator.

The Imperial facility consists of 12 wet labs, 16 private offices, several meeting rooms and will provide the tenants with a range of research resources, business and support services. The wet labs are equipped to Category 2 level laboratory classification system of physical containment of microbiologicals. Imperial Innovations, which will provide companies with strategic, management and mentoring advice, expects the BioIncubator to host up to 15 companies at any one time and will provide a physical centre for its incubation and company development programs.

Susan Searle, chief executive of Imperial Innovations said: "We made an important first step to have commenced the building of the BioIncubator and to have hired Michele, a Centre Manager with such experience and talent. The new building and its facilities will enable us to accelerate the development of our stable of early stage companies and ensure we harness the capabilities and resources of the College."

Sir Richard Sykes, Rector of Imperial College London, said: "Here at Imperial we have some of the best researchers in the world carrying out work that has the potential to change lives. It's vitally important that we create an environment where our expertise in Biosciences can be transferred quickly from theory into practice. We already have a highly entrepreneurial culture so I'm delighted that the Imperial BioIncubator, an important space of a type currently in short supply in London, will push forward the speed at which we can commercialise our innovations."

Commenting on the announcement, Damian Lynch, Senior Life Sciences Manager at the LDA, said, "This Centre is ideally located within the heart of Imperial's dynamic campus and provides ideal business conditions for future biotech companies that will be tenants. It will go a long way to meet the high demand for technology space in London and will provide many benefits to those businesses that choose to move in."


For more information contact:

Lucy Ahfong
Marketing Officer
Imperial Innovations
Tel: +44 (0) 20 7594 6644

Nick Fox/Harriet Totty
+44 (0) 207 153 1540/1590
E-mail: /

Abigail Smith
Imperial College London Press Office
Tel: 020 7594 6701

Notes for editors

1) About Imperial Innovations

Imperial Innovations is one of the UK's leading technology commercialisation companies with a strong value creation record having already generated revenues in excess of £30 million from spin-outs and licenses since 1997. The company, together with Imperials academic inventors, has established equity holdings in more than 54 spin-out companies and completed a total of 100 licence deals. Over 1,000 jobs have been created through the spin-out companies.

In April 2005, Imperial Innovations arranged a private placing of ordinary shares in the company through JPMorgan Cazenove. Imperial College now holds 71% of Imperial Innovations and institutional investors hold the balance of 29%. Imperial College London has agreed a 15 year pipeline agreement with Imperial Innovations which allows Imperial Innovations to commercialise technology originating from Imperial Colleges research activity.

Recent activity includes a £150k investment in HeliSwirl, an engineering company whose SMAHT pipe technology increases the transport efficiency of fluid flow within a wide range of pipe-work systems; a 5.58% stake in AiM-listed Nanoscience after their proposed acquisition of Toumaz, which is developing research into low power and ultra low power integrated circuits and silicon chips; a £250k investment in spin-out NovaThera, which specialises in pioneering applications of biomaterials and stem cell biology to regenerative medicine and tissue engineering; a £402k investment in deltaDOT, a developer of enabling technologies and products for bioscience research.

Further spin-out company activity includes Ceres Power, a fuel cell technology company built on research from Imperial Colleges Department of Materials which listed on the stock market in November 2004 raising £21.6 million of which £16 million was for the company (£14.6 million net) and HydroVenturi, a company developing a novel method to generate power from tidal currents based on research from Imperials Department of Physics, which completed a £2.5 million funding round in March 2005.


2) About the London Development Agency

The London Development Agency is the Mayor's agency for business and jobs. The LDA prepares the Mayor's business plan for London and mobilises the support and resources of hundreds of partner organisations to help build a thriving economy for London's people, businesses and communities. The LDA is dedicated to improving sustainability, health and equality of opportunity for Londoners.


3) About Imperial College London

Consistently rated in the top three UK university institutions, Imperial College London is a world leading science-based university whose reputation for excellence in teaching and research attracts students (11,000) and staff (6,000) of the highest international quality.
Innovative research at the College explores the interface between science, medicine, engineering and management and delivers practical solutions that enhance the quality of life and the environment - underpinned by a dynamic enterprise culture.