27 Apr 2022

Discovery Park Commits to Becoming IB Centre of Excellence

Discovery Park has declared its commitment to becoming the South East’s “centre of excellence for industrial biotechnology (IB)” as it looks to help bring forward thousands of jobs and economic growth for the region.

With the drive towards sustainable living, IB offers a “green and alternative to fossil fuels”, and is at the heart of the government’s drive towards achieving Net Zero by 2050.

Discovery Park’s own IB ambitions build upon the site’s reputation for drug discovery and manufacture, with it having been home to Pfizer since the 1950s.

Work is currently under way to refurbish 50,000 sq ft of laboratories and collaborative workspace, creating an incubator for start-up biotech and life science businesses.

Mayer Schreiber, chief executive of Discovery Park, said: “Industrial biotechnology is critical to the future of our planet and offers enormous potential for the whole of the UK, but especially here in rural and coastal Kent.

“Working closely with University of Kent, who have research excellence in this area, our incubation space can help fledgling IB businesses to pilot new technologies, develop greener and cleaner manufacturing processes, and allow them to easily scale them up and also manufacture here on site.”

In the last year, Discovery Park has seen a growing cluster of companies involved in hydrogen and cleantech, attracted to East Kent by its facilities and infrastructure, as well as capabilities for waste and water management.

Jane Kennedy, chief business officer at Discovery Park, added: “Traditionally Scotland has led the way on the IB agenda. Since I joined the team six months ago, it has become clear that Discovery Park offers unparalleled opportunities to collaborate and connect these fast-moving industries for the benefit of the South East.

“Through our work with IBioIC, Discovery Park’s approach will be to engage across the very broad but inter-related IB community to help us become a true centre of excellence, supporting the UK’s wider economic growth through research, innovation and commercialisation of new technologies.”

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