Updated on 2 May 2012
One of the major occupants is the new $90 million Scottish Center for Regenerative Medicine (SCRM), which has modern research, manufacturing and commercialization facilities and houses 220 researchers. It is Europe's largest stem cell research center, said Mr Mike Capaldi, commercialization director of Edinburgh BioQuarter.
The BioQuarter has built up space in excess of two million square feet and the $1.2 billion facility has been built through the public-private partnership model. Companies locating here will have ready access to the 1,150 researchers at the nearby University of Edinburgh Medical School, a $34 million bioincubator and the patients at the Royal Infirmary for clinical research. The Roslyn Institute, where Dolly, the world's first cloned sheep was born, is also located nearby.
With many more such advanced facilities, Scotland has embarked on a high decibel campaign to make the world sit up and take notice of its expertise in life sciences. Scottish Development International, the agency tasked with this project, has been meeting life science companies in India in recent weeks. The emphasis here to drive the message that the Scotland Government will do everything in its power to boost its business friendly policies. No wonder that although it is a relatively small country, it already has more than 2,000 foreign companies that have significant presence.
Innovation is in the country's gene. The list of original inventions from Scotland is very long and includes Dr James Young Simpson, who was the first person to introduce chloroform in anesthesia in 1847; Dr John Macleod, a Scottish scientist who discovered of insulin in 1923; invention of hypodermic syringe by Dr Alexander Wood in 1853; pioneering ultrasound scan by Dr Ian Donald in 1950s; the discovery of beta-blockers by Dr James Black and development of Zantac and Ventolin by Dr David Jack in 1980s.
Now Scotland is preparing for the next wave of innovation.
It started in 1919 as the manufacturing site for chemical dye, Indanthrene Yellow G, the first one outside Germany. The original chemical plant of Scottish Dyes, situated in a small village Grangemouth, midway between Edinburgh and Glasgow, is now a swank new facility of India's Piramal Healthcare.
Piramal Healthcare inherited the facility through the acquisition of ICI Chemicals and on March 26, 2012, the site started commercial production of antibody drug conjugate (ADC), also called the ‘smart bomb' since these molecules are used in a new range of anti-cancer drugs that hunt and destroy cancerous cells in patients.