• New Hub to help Transform JIC and TSL Facilities
    A computer-generated image of the Next Generation Infrastructure gardens and buildings. Credit: BDP, Secchi Smith

News & Views

New Hub to help Transform JIC and TSL Facilities

Jun 14 2023

Investment of more than £317 million into a ground-breaking plant and microbial science and innovation hub at the heart of Norwich Research Park, is set to transform the existing capabilities of the internationally recognised John Innes Centre (JIC) and The Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL).

Aiming to become a net-zero carbon laboratory, the innovation hub will help deliver a step change in the UK’s capability to translate scientific knowledge into bio-based solutions in response to societal challenges. The UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Infrastructure Fund will develop the Norwich-based site over the next seven years, with £54.7 million being invested over the first three years and a total investment of £317.7 million from the fund. Construction of the new hub is expected to be complete by 2030.

Professor Graham Moore, Director of JIC, said: “Securing this funding is a major step forward in realising our vision to improve collaborative working across the UK and overseas, helping us to provide a safer, healthier and more sustainable future through the power of plant and microbial science. As well as new laboratories, the investment includes a redevelopment of our plant growth facilities, which in conjunction with our existing field station, will improve our ability to study the effects of climate change.”

Professor Nick Talbot FRS, Executive Director of TSL, said: “This transformational investment exemplifies the UK’s confidence in the future of our research institutes and their ability to transform global agriculture through innovation. It is imperative that agricultural production is transformed to become a net carbon zero activity that no longer relies on fossil fuels. The investment from UKRI will enable us to harness the collaborative environment on the Norwich Research Park, catalysing new research initiatives and creating a unique asset for UK science and innovation.”

The investment will also enable the realisation of an ambitious longer-term vision for JIC and TSL - Healthy Plants, Healthy People, Healthy Planet (HP3) that strives to reach new levels of understanding by integrating advances in computational biology, genetics, genomics, live cell imaging and structural biology

A fundraising campaign is currently underway at JIC and TSL to secure a further £30 million investment to support the full cost of the Next Generation Infrastructure programme and longer-term HP3 vision.

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