Imperial College Healthcare NHS Trust has set out its vision for a new life sciences cluster in Paddington, founded on its growing partnerships with research, industry and community organisations around St Mary’s Hospital.
The Trust unveiled its ‘Paddington Life Sciences’ vision on a new website, including three imminent initiatives:
- A new digital collaboration space, opening in October 2022, located at Sheldon Square, next to St Mary’s and Paddington station. Housing the National Institute for Health and Care Research (NIHR) Imperial Biomedical Research Centre’s (BRC) expanding digital health programme team, it will provide space for lectures, training, events and meetings. It will also benefit from additional investment in Imperial College Healthcare’s trusted data environment which is already helping to produce important, new clinical insights.
- The creation of a new centre for clinical infection, a specialist clinical and translational research facility to complement Imperial College London’s new Institute of Infection. Together they will be one of only a few resources in the world to offer ‘end-to-end’ innovation, from initial discovery to improved patient outcomes, for the management of infectious diseases as well as antimicrobial resistance.
- Paddington Life Sciences Partners, bringing together NHS, academic, local authority and life sciences industry partners with a commitment to the area to help ensure the delivery of major social, health and commercial value as quickly as possible.
For the longer term, the Trust is progressing a full redevelopment of the St Mary’s estate as part of the government’s new hospital programme. As well as delivering a new, state-of-the-art hospital, the redevelopment is intended to create an additional 1.5 million square feet of cross-functional commercial and lab space for life sciences businesses to start, develop and grow.
Imperial College Healthcare chief executive Professor Tim Orchard said: “Research and innovation are fundamental to the clinical excellence our hospitals are renowned for, from the Nobel Prize-winning discoveries of penicillin and the chemical structure of antibodies and the invention of the electrocardiogram, to pioneering robotic surgery, HIV care and the clinical use of virtual reality technology. Most recently, we have played a key role in developing understanding of Covid-19 and trialling a range of new treatments.
“We are now entering a new era of discovery, at an even more ambitious scale, by maximising the potential of our existing work areas and joining them up with new opportunities. With Imperial College London, we run one of the largest NIHR biomedical research centres, undertaking hundreds of clinical trials and analysing data from well over a million patient contacts each year.
“Through the pandemic, many more patients and staff have been encouraged to get involved in research and we are confident this trend will grow as we continue to deepen our relationships with local communities and organisations. We are working together to improve not just healthcare but also health and wellbeing, creating synergies that will boost education, skills development and employment opportunities in some of the most deprived areas of the UK.
“The regeneration of Paddington is also drawing more and more life sciences and technology businesses to the area, attracted by investment in transport infrastructure and excellent national and international travel connections. This also means strong links to other life sciences hubs, including Imperial College London’s growing campus at White City, adjacent to another of our own campuses, Hammersmith Hospital, and the knowledge quarter in King’s Cross and Euston.
“And this is all on top of all our major investment and redevelopment plans for the St Mary’s campus.”
Dr Bob Klaber, Imperial College Healthcare director of strategy, research and innovation added: “British life sciences firms raised £4.5bn in 2021, up from just £261m in 2012. But London has not yet reached its full potential to attract investment and innovation in the life sciences sector.
“MedCity’s 2021 London Life Sciences Real Estate Demand Report identiﬁed an estimated 500,000 square feet shortfall in innovation and lab space. Imperial College Healthcare is ideally placed to help fill that gap.”
Paddington Life Sciences, and the new digital collaboration space, are formally launched in October.