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BARTS Life Sciences at Future Cities Forum

Above: Barts Life Sciences 'Hero' outside the Queen Mary Biosciences (QMB) Centre in Whitechapel, adjacent to the Royal London Hospital (Courtesy Barts Life Sciences)

Barts Health NHS Trust's Sven Bunn, Life Sciences Programme Director and Grant Bourhill, Managing Director, Barts Life Sciences will be speaking at our 'Knowledge Cities' event this November.

Barts Life Sciences is a collaboration between Queen Mary University of London and Barts NHS Trust, supported by Barts Charity. It has a vision - based on the adjacent location of the Royal London Hospital and the Queen Mary Biosciences Innovation Centre - to transform the future of healthcare, not only for the people of London and the UK, but globally.

Its ultimate ambition is to build a new life sciences campus that will provide a space for researchers, scientists, and clinicians to work directly alongside businesses and entrepreneurs, creating the healthcare solutions of tomorrow. This will allow Barts Life Sciences to share ground-breaking ideas, develop new ways of working, improve health outcomes, and reduce the costs faced by health systems. Programme Director for Barts Life Sciences, Sven Bunn, explained to FUTURE CITIES FORUM last September 2022: 'We have a long tradition of innovation in Whitechapel, it is home to the one of the oldest hospitals in the country and has a leading edge in healthcare and research. There is a massive opportunity here to build the innovation district, re-using some of the older buildings on site and using areas of land that are vacant. It is a complicated site with lots of underground tunnels and a mix of buildings including a 1910 outpatient block and a 1920s sexual health clinic, with some further buildings from the 1960s. The challenge is to create one million square feet of adaptable space for scientists with supporting offices. The blue tower of the new Royal London Hospital is very distinctive and makes a statement and we need to be able to put in other buildings that are complementary. We have confidence in the investment of the site, but it all requires physical space.' In July 2018, the Department of Health and Social Care bought underused land from Barts Health to kick-start the development of this cutting-edge research campus: 'The plan is to develop several plots of land left over following the development of the new Royal London Hospital into one of the most modern research facilities in Europe. The land covers a ground area equivalent to two-and-a-half football pitches.

The new development will create up to 11,500 full-time jobs and will be a powerful incentive for attracting new start-ups and other innovative and dynamic enterprises. Revenue will be reinvested back into local healthcare, securing clinical and financial sustainability.'

Grant Bourhill, former CEO of Surrey Research Park and Leicester Science Parks, has a wealth of experience in the innovation, real estate and research sectors, including as a non-executive director of the UK Science Park Association.

Speaking in February 2023 on Grant’s appointment, Professor Sir Mark Caulfield, lead for Barts Life Sciences and Vice Principal for Health at Queen Mary said:

“Appointing Grant as the new managing director of Barts Life Sciences will help us to further drive forward our vision of a major life sciences hub in Whitechapel, a collaboration between Barts Health and Queen Mary University of London and industry partners, so we can realise our ambition of bringing new, innovative healthcare to the people in east London and beyond. We’re delighted to welcome him on board."

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