The Chancellor George Osborne has visited the Francis Crick Institute construction site at St Pancras. His visit came as world leaders, dignitaries and business people arrived in London for the Olympic Games. It also coincided with the release of figures that showed the economy had slowed further with a fall in GDP of 0.7% in the second quarter of the year.
Mr Osborne was shown round the site by the Crick's director and chief executive, Sir Paul Nurse.
Sir Paul said: "The UK has an excellent reputation in science which the Francis Crick Institute aims to enhance. Building the Crick demonstrates the country's commitment to be at the leading edge of biomedical research for decades to come. I'm delighted the Chancellor took time out of his busy schedule to visit the site of the institute just before the Olympic Games. Investment in research brings extraordinary returns, improving health and lives, and benefiting the economy."
During the Olympic period, ministers are to meet investors and business people from around the world in 17 separate business summits being held for 3,000 foreign investors and business partners. The summits will begin with the " Global Investment Conference" being held at Lancaster House in London at which Paul Nurse will speak.
Paul said: "This conference is a great opportunity to highlight the strength of biomedical research in the UK. We want the Crick to be a beacon of excellence, building on the UK's reputation as a destination of choice for the best international scientific talent and strengthening the biomedical science base throughout the country."