Minister launches £16m Imaging Centre
Minister for Universities and Science Jo Johnson MP helped to break ground to mark the construction of a new University of Glasgow-led clinical imaging centre.
The minister was visiting the site at the Queen Elizabeth University Hospital where the new Imaging Centre of Excellence (ICE) will be based. The ICE, supported by £16m of UK Government funding through the Medical Research Council as part of the Glasgow & Clyde Valley City Deal, will provide clinical research facilities which will be unique in the UK and create more than 200 new jobs for local people. The centre is expected to be completed by the end of 2016.
An independent analysis of the ICE’s economic impact concluded that the gross value added to the local economy over the next decade is likely to total around £65m.
The ICE will house state-of-the-art technology to enable scientists to conduct new clinical research. The ground floor of the building will house a variety of imaging technologies including a £7M 7 Tesla MRI scanner.
The 7 Tesla is an ultra-high resolution scanner which will allow the development of advanced diagnostic imaging methodologies for use in stroke, cardiovascular disease and brain imaging.
Anna Dominiczak, Vice Principal and Head of the University of Glasgow’s College of Medical, Veterinary and Life Sciences, said: “We were very pleased to welcome the Minister for Universities and Science to the site of the Imaging Centre of Excellence today.
“The ICE is a major addition to the University of Glasgow’s expertise in the field of personalised medicine, following the establishment of the £20m University-led Stratified Medicine Scotland Innovation Centre in 2013. Personalised medicine helps clinicians deliver the right therapy to the right patient at the right time to deliver the most effective care possible, tailored to their needs."
Through these collaborations, ICE is expected to directly create local jobs, and is being designed to accommodate up to 260 staff, the vast majority expected to be new hires. The ICE will employ up to 40 clinical staff, 100 researchers and 120 more from industry.
The acquisition of the 7 Tesla scanner was supported by additional funding from the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRPIF), a HEFCE-administered fund that supports research capital funding in higher education institutions, with additional funding from the European Regional Development Fund and other sources.
Scotland takes aim at precision medicine breakthroughs with Catapult
Glasgow has been named as the base of one of six regional centres of excellence by the Precision Medicine Catapult.
Established in April 2015 and funded by Innovate UK, the Precision Medicine Catapult is the UK's new national innovation centre for precision medicine. Its aim is to make the UK the most attractive place in the world in which to develop precision medicine test and therapies.
The Scottish centre of excellence, based in Glasgow, will be led by the University of Glasgow and the Scottish Government on behalf of the NHS Research Scotland, the universities of Edinburgh, Dundee and Aberdeen and industry partners Aridhia Informatics, ThermoFisher Scientific and Illumina.
Precision medicine uses diagnostic tests and data-based insights to understand a patient's disease more precisely and so select treatments with more predictable, safer, cost-effective outcomes.
The UK’s research and clinical expertise, combined with the Government’s major investment in relevant research infrastructure, has placed it in a leading position in this area.
Centre of Excellence
The other regional centres of excellence will be based in Belfast, Cardiff, Leeds, Manchester and Oxford. Each centre will act as a hub for regional precision medicine activities within the UK-wide network, coordinated from Precision Medicine Catapult’s Cambridge headquarters. The centres of excellence will work on locally driven programmes and use the Precision Medicine Catapult network to harness the breadth of UK expertise, developing innovative technologies and solutions for broader use across the UK’s healthcare sector.
Professor Anna Dominiczak said: “We are very pleased and proud to be partnering with the Precision Medicine Catapult to lead the only Scottish centre of excellence.
“Precision medicine aims to deliver the right drug for the right patient at the right time, and some of the best work in this emerging field is being done here in Scotland. Stratified Medicine Scotland – Innovation Centre, based in Glasgow’s Queen Elizabeth University Hospital, is home to world-leading precision medicine exemplar projects whose input will help the centre of excellence achieve its goals, and excellent research is also being carried out across the whole of Scotland.
“We’re looking forward to working closely with the Precision Medicine Catapult to develop new forms of treatment for many chronic illnesses.”
The announcement was made in Glasgow by the UK Universities and Science Minister, Jo Johnson, who said: "The UK is a world leader in the life sciences and that’s in no small part thanks to innovative firms and academics across the country. As a One Nation Government we are committed to strengthening our capabilities in this crucial sector. These centres of excellence will join together a network of researchers to develop precision medicine technologies that will save lives and support growth in our world-class life science industry."
The Scottish Government Cabinet Secretary for Health, Shona Robison, said: “It is great news that Glasgow has been chosen as one of the regional centres of excellence for the Precision Medicine Catapult. Glasgow, and indeed Scotland, has a long established international reputation for innovation and world-leading research, with particular strengths and expertise in medicine and healthcare.
“This decision demonstrates how the Scottish Government’s investment of £124 million in our Innovation Centres attracts further funding from other sources. It adds to our potential to generate up to £1.5 billion for our economy and support around 5,000 jobs.”
First published: 27 October 2015