Agreement signed to establish UKCMRI

The consortium behind the UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation (UKCMRI) has formally agreed to build the new institute at St Pancras and Somers Town in the London Borough of Camden.

The Medical Research Council (MRC), Cancer Research UK, Wellcome Trust and UCL (University College London) have signed an agreement to set up UKCMRI as a charitable foundation subject to the agreement of the Charity Commission.

When he set out the Government's National Infrastructure Plan in October, the Prime Minister, David Cameron, identified UKCMRI as a key part of the country's future economic development.  The plan followed confirmation of the Government's share of funding in the Spending Review. Describing scientific research as "vital to our future economic success", the Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, announced Government funding subject to approval of the MRC's full business case.

The £600 million Centre will prevent and cure disease, create jobs and harness a sector of the economy in which the UK is a world leader. It will investigate fundamental biological processes underlying human health, and will study diseases that affect people across the UK, including cancers, heart disease and stroke, infections, diseases of the immune and nervous systems and the degenerative conditions linked to ageing.

The Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts MP, said: "I am delighted to be present at the signing of the Joint Venture Agreement for UKCMRI.  This will be crucial for British biomedical research in the future.  The four partners will create a world class centre with a mix of expertise and critical mass to capture cutting-edge science for the benefit of patients."

Health Minister Lord Howe said: "As a Government, we want to deliver health outcomes that are amongst the best in the world.  When resources are under pressure, research is even more important in identifying innovative ways of preventing, diagnosing, and treating disease for a productive 21st century NHS. We know that investment in UK science research and its translation to the NHS is key to our future health and our future prosperity. This is why we will be increasing spending on health research in real terms over the Spending Review and providing £220 million of capital funding for UKCMRI."

Sir Paul Nurse, the Director and Chief Executive designate of UKCMRI, said: "In the very difficult current economic climate, UKCMRI represents an important investment in medical research in the UK. Its location within a cluster of some of the world's leading hospitals and biomedical research institutions will help to accelerate the translation of research discoveries into treatments for the benefit of the UK."

For more details, see the press release

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