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Boris Johnson launches £4m MedCity

London, Oxford and Cambridge to make up life science 'triangle'

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Mayor of London Boris Johnson launched the MedCity initiative this week in the hope of turning London into a world leader for medical sciences.

The initiative, announced by Johnson at Imperial College London on Tuesday, will be given £4 million to strengthen links between hospitals, universities and businesses in the South East. MedCity will also be tasked with attracting life sciences companies to London, Oxford and Cambridge, or the “Golden Triangle”, in the south east.

MedCity will be modelled on Tech City UK, which is aiming to join up tech clusters around the country and is considered a success by Johnson.

City Hall said it wants some of the UK’s economic dependency to be shifted away from financial services and towards life sciences, which now emlpoys more than 700,000 people in the South East. 

MedCity, being established in co-operation with UCL, King’s College, Imperial, Oxford and Cambridge, will create jobs for Londoners and lead to substantial breakthroughs in combating diseases across the world, according to Johnson.

Elliot Forster, Chairman of MedCity, said: “MedCity will stimulate collaboration across the sector and through this drive economic growth. This is a singular opportunity for this sector to find its rightful place in the world market.”

Life sciences includes the study of living organisms, and encompasses subjects like biology, zoology and biochemistry.

The £500 million Francis Crick Institute is set to open next to King's Cross train station in London in 2015, while Cambridge has opened a new £212 million MRC Laboratory for Molecular Biology.

Oxford University has proposed a £21m "BioEscalator" to bring together its medical research.

The Mayor's office is backing the initiative with £1.2 million, while the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) will provide £2.92 million. 

This makes it better funded than its sister organisation Tech City UK, which received £1.73 million last year.


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