Imperial kick off new centre with gift

Imperial is to build a new biomedical engineering centre on its Imperial West campus in White City thanks to an unprecedented £40m gift from a former student.

Michael Uren OBE and his foundation will support the construction of the Michael Uren Biomedical Engineering Hub, on the new 25-acre research and innovation campus on the former BBC Woodlands and DairyCrest site.

Imperial’s engineers, scientists and clinicians will work together in the new space and facilities alongside spin-out companies, helping to create an innovation district.

The College say the building and its location “will cement Imperial and the UK’s position as world-leaders in biomedical engineering research and application”.

Sir Keith O’Nions, President of Imperial College London, said: “Imperial is profoundly grateful to Michael Uren and his Foundation for this remarkable gift, the most generous it has ever received. It will create a wholly new building and set of facilities for engineers and medics to come together and make new discoveries and innovations on an unparalleled scale. It provides enormous impetus to the development of Imperial West as an innovation district.”

Michael Uren OBE said: “It is an honour for me to be able to help this great university. Medical teaching and research didn’t exist at Imperial in my day, but it has evolved into an institution where the work between engineering and medicine is today one of its outstanding strengths. Imperial has always applied academic excellence for the greater good, and I am thrilled by the prospect of this Biomedical Engineering Hub doing exactly that.

“What I find so exciting about this project is that here is Imperial building one of the biggest research centres in the world within a few miles of the City of London, which itself has become the biggest financial centre in the world today.  By putting the two together, what is quite clear is that the investment world will be watching for, and waiting for, the research and inventions which will create tomorrow’s great companies.

“It seems to me that, in effect, what we are creating here is a new Silicon Valley London, which is bound to succeed.”

Michael, a 1943 Imperial graduate in Mechanical Engineering, founded Civil and Marine Ltd and built it into one of the UK’s foremost innovators in cement manufacture.

The Mayor of London Boris Johnson said: “I am absolutely delighted at this extremely generous donation that will push forward research in an exciting and crucially important area of medical science. This donation, coming so soon after the launch of MedCity, demonstrates unquestionably that London and the South East is one of the leading regions in the world for game-changing science.”

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