Two decades plus in the making, the West’s science park is officially opened

September 26, 2011

The Bristol & Bath Science Park was officially opened this morning, realising a long-held ambition to place the West of England at the forefront of innovation and technology.

Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, launched what its backers believe will become a new powerhouse for research and development,

The 59-acre (24 hectare) site in Emersons Green, north Bristol, aims to become a much-needed hotbed for innovation and home to up to 6,000 jobs.

The park will act as a hub for the region’s many science and technology businesses, connecting entrepreneurs, fledgling businesses and established brands with vital investors, academia and design.

The Universities of Bath, Bristol and the West of England are key stakeholders in the science park.

Today’s ceremony, which was attended by hundreds of business people, academics and politicians, including Kevin Edge, deputy vice-chancellor the University of Bath, brought to a close nearly 25 years of stop-start funding and planning of the park.

While Bristol and Bath form one of the six Science City regions in England, recognising its many achievements in world-class scientific research, innovation and development, until now it has been the only one not to have a science park.

Bonnie Dean, chief executive at the Bristol & Bath Science Park, said: “The region’s strengths in scientific research, technology and the creative industries, all of which come together at the Park, should make it a magnet for entrepreneurs and ambitious companies. The Science Park will also be a flexible and professional hub for collaboration between industry and academia.

"This is a momentous day for everyone involved in the Park and the region.”

The Science Park project has been designed, developed and managed by Quantum Property Partnership – a joint venture between Quintain Estates and Development and Aviva Investors. The South West RDA, set to close by March 2012, invested £40m which was instrumental in unlocking the project. This was the Agency's largest single investment in the South West.

The park is already home to the National Composites Centre, which is supported by the University of Bristol. The centre brings together companies and academics to develop new methods for the rapid manufacture of high-value composite products, which is a major growth opportunity for the UK.

The mark the official opening, Mr Willetts unveiled three glass sculptures created by internationally renowned, Bristol-based artist Luke Jerram representing three different viruses – Smallpox, HIV and an Untitled Future Mutation.




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