Welcoming the announcement, Greg Clark, Minister of State for Universities, Science and Cities said:
'This significant investment will support the crucial research at the Bloomsbury Research Institute and help sustain the UK’s world-leading position in scientific research and development.'
The funding will go towards the establishment of a dedicated research facility in the heart of London, part of the largest biosciences hub in Europe. The Institute will bring together more than 200 leading researchers who will work with National Health Service and healthcare industry partners across the UK and worldwide.
The Bloomsbury Research Institute’s mission is to find new treatments, vaccines and diagnostics for prevention and control of infectious diseases. It will focus on the major global killers ‐ tuberculosis, HIV and malaria ‐ as well as neglected tropical diseases, food‐borne pathogens and healthcare‐associated infections including MRSA. It will contribute to the international effort to address antimicrobial resistance and develop new antimicrobials, a key priority for the World Health Organization and the UK Government.
David Sweeney, HEFCE Director for Research, Education and Knowledge Exchange, said:
'HEFCE’s Catalyst Fund investment supports strong research partnerships, building upon the UK’s renowned research base, and enables important research activities in biomedicine and tropical diseases to be carried out. The Bloomsbury Research Institute will make a significant impact not only on academic research but will importantly provide crucial benefits to healthcare for wider society.'
Research at the Institute will build on the internationally recognised strengths of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine and UCL, and attract world class research teams to London.
Professor Peter Piot, Director of the London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, said:
'Despite major achievements in recent decades, our age-old struggle against infectious diseases is far from over. Malaria and tuberculosis are still rampant, HIV/AIDS continues to be a massive endemic burden, globalisation has increased the risk of pandemics, and the rise of antibiotic-resistant ‘superbugs’ threatens to render existing drugs useless. We need innovative research and development, and this partnership, building on the world-leading research here and at UCL, has the potential to save millions of lives worldwide.'
Professor Michael Arthur, UCL President & Provost, said:
'Forging successful partnerships with other institutions is central to UCL's belief in maximising the social impact of our intellectual resources and developing real-world solutions to global challenges. The Bloomsbury Research Institute is an exciting partnership between our two institutions and is a timely opportunity to accelerate the understanding and treatment of infectious diseases.'