© Ben Broomfield
The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan, was taken on a tour of the Crick today by Paul Nurse, to discuss the opportunities for life sciences and see first-hand how the knowledge and innovation of the Crick and other nearby academic and scientific organisations, will continue to thrive following the European referendum result.
London has become a major hub for life science companies and continues to be a powerhouse for scientific innovation and research, attracting and retaining leading institutions such as the Crick, UCL, Imperial and King's, as well as having world-class Universities in Oxford and Cambridge on its doorstep.
Sadiq made clear that he is fully supportive of the Crick and its vital importance for the life sciences ecosystem in London and following Britain's decision to leave the EU, that he supports access to the single market.
The Mayor said: "London remains one of the most attractive places for life science companies to do business in the world and our great city will continue to lead the way in medical research and innovation. London thrives by being open: to talent, to ideas and to people. I am absolutely determined that this will continue, and that we not only retain the world's best scientists but continue to attract them to our world-leading cluster of medical research institutions.
"It is critical the life sciences sector is given the voice it needs through the Brexit negotiation period, and I have made clear to Government that London needs its own seat at the negotiating table, given the city's importance both to the UK and to Europe. London is a global as well as a European city, and we will continue to forge new and deeper relationships with other countries around the world."
Sir Paul Nurse said: "The Francis Crick Institute is truly international, with scientists and collaborators from all over the world, and we are proud of our open and diverse values, which underpin our globally leading science.
"We have a distinctive role to play within London, which is why we were so pleased to welcome the Mayor today. As well as contributing to the city's world-leading strength in the life sciences, we will be open to the public: welcoming people into our new building for exhibitions and events; working with local schools to inspire the next generation about science; and working in close partnership with the local Somers Town community."
Whilst the Crick will not be fully operational until 2017, our first exhibition will be open from November 2016. One of our key aims is to generate excitement about science locally, nationally and globally, and our gallery space (open four days a week) will allow the public to come in and find out more about the work of the institute through interesting and inspiring exhibitions. There will also be a public café as well as regular lectures and events in our auditorium. Keep an eye on our website for opening days and times.
When it is fully operational, the Francis Crick Institute will employ 1500 staff, including 1250 scientists from over 70 countries.