Imperial College has revealed plans for a £1bn ($1.6bn) research and development campus at White City in west London with space for 50 spinouts. Imperial has £150m ($241m) in initial investment to set up the campus which will eventually become a $1.6bn development, according to rector of Imperial College, Sir Keith O’Nions. £35m ($56m) of the funding comes from the UK government’s Research Partnership Investment Fund, with a further £90m ($144m) provided by property investment fund Voreda. Imperial will provide £25m ($40m) for the campus itself. In addition to space to house 50 spin out companies at White City, the campus will have facilities to study advanced materials, biotech, and other fields of research. The announcement comes after University College London (UCL) unveiled its intentions to develop a $1.6bn development, UCL Stratford, in east London. Both universities have partnered with King’s College London to develop a £600m ($963m) medical research centre, the Francis Crick Institute. “UCL is tending to look east for expansion while we look west,” said Sir Keith. “Though we will be focusing in coming years on doing all we can at White City, if an opportunity arises for us to obtain more space in west London at an affordable price we’ll consider it.” The White City investment is out of necessity as London-based universities are running out of space to commercially exploit technologies developed in the city. “As a city we probably have the greatest concentration of science anywhere, with all the benefits of the English language, cultural diversity and an extremely business-friendly environment,” said Sir Keith. “And nowhere to put our spin-out companies.”

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