£1.8m for science park

The East of England Development Agency (EEDA) is to grant Cranfield University and Cambridge University £1.8m to establish an academic presence in Colworth Science Park, Bedfordshire. The project is being developed under a joint venture between Unilever and international property group Goodman.

Academic staff based within a knowledge hub will be able to work with a range of companies in a commercial setting, fully supported by modern, shared facilities, amenities and equipment.

Colworth Park is already home to 17 businesses in a collaborative science community including Unilever and a number of local start-up businesses. It recently submitted a planning application to develop the knowledge hub to house both universities with offices, networking and conferencing facilities. The planning application also included an innovation centre, providing laboratory facilities for start-up companies.

EEDA’s lifesciences and healthcare manager Mark Wathen said: ‘Colworth Science Park could help businesses and academics in the region accelerate the commercialisation of research to create wealth for the local economy.’

He added: ‘It would be a much needed breeding ground for innovation and enterprises in our region, and provide vital access to facilities to support local businesses and encourage collaboration.’