The 2,500m² centre has been designed by Austin-Smith: Lord and is being developed as partnership project between Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) and the University of the Highlands & Islands. It has received funding from both the Inverness & Highland City Region Deal and the European Regional Development Fund.
The centre will provide accommodation where businesses can work collaboratively with academia on life science projects. It will also form part of a wider project with NHS Highland, which is currently developing an elective care facility on same campus.
Ruaraidh MacNeil, HIE’s director of business infrastructure, said: “We are very pleased to announce this contract award for another major development on Inverness Campus. The life sciences innovation centre will create new commercial opportunities and high value career options, with benefits extending across the Highlands and Islands. It will also support the continued growth of the University of the Highlands and Islands through new innovation and research opportunities.
“The adjacent NHS Highland facility, meanwhile, will improve the health outcomes and patient experience. All of this will help attract and retain new talent for the region.”
Professor Todd Walker, principal and vice-chancellor of the University of the Highlands & Islands, said: “We are delighted that the construction contract has been awarded for this collaborative venture. The development will increase our research in fields such as medical nanotechnology and active health and will help us to provide greater support to the region’s life sciences sector. We hope to create a facility of national significance which will bring economic benefits to our region through innovation, commercialisation, company and job creation and the attraction and retention of talent.”
Frank Reid, regional managing director, Robertson Construction Northern, said: “Our relationship with Highlands and Islands Enterprise (HIE) spans over many years and it is with great pleasure that we will now undertake our fourth project at the university.”