Glasgow eyes bio-corridor for attracting investment

Picture: Getty
Picture: Getty
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STRATHCLYDE University principal Sir Jim McDonald has revealed proposals for a “bio-corridor” in Glasgow to attract international investment and high-value jobs to the city.

McDonald told yesterday’s BioScotland conference in Glasgow that the corridor would run from the BioCity incubation centre at the former Merck drugs factory in Newhouse through the city centre to GlaxoSmithKline’s facility at Irvine.

Labelling specific areas as “bio-clusters” is a technique used to attract companies and investment, as well as grouping businesses together so they can work more closely with each other.

Edinburgh University, NHS Lothian and Scottish Enterprise have built the BioQuarter next to Edinburgh Royal Infirmary as a cluster. Dundee has also been hailed as a bio-cluster centred around Dundee University.

Speaking after the conference McDonald told The Scotsman: “The bio-corridor would complement rather than rival Edinburgh BioQuarter. We already have international firms such as Life Technologies that have been attracted to Glasgow and promoting facilities such as BioCity and the expertise in the universities and the NHS could bring in further investment and high-value jobs.”

Proposals for a bio-corridor stem from McDonald’s work as chairman of the Glasgow Economic Leadership Board.

His comments struck a chord with Glenn Crocker, chief executive of BioCity Group.

Crocker explained that other bio-clusters are centred around individual cities, such as Cambridge and Nottingham, while Scotland’s life sciences community is spread more thinly around the country.

“Scotland has the same number of start-up companies as the east or south-east of England, but they are distributed more widely,” Crocker said.

• Source BioScience, a London-listed life sciences firm, has bought Motherwell-based blood bank product maker Inverclyde Biologicals (IB) for £1.6 million in cash. IB’s shareholders are listed at Companies House as Hugh Graham and Fiona Roberts.