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Work begins on new £10 million Aston Academy of Life Sciences

March 24 2003

Work begins on new �10 million Aston Academy of Life Sciences

BUILDING work has begun on Aston University’s new �10 million Aston Academy of Life Sciences (AALS). John Edwards, Chief Executive of Advantage West Midlands, was guest of honour at a special ceremony to mark the cutting of the first sod on March 20th.

The Aston Academy of Life Sciences will be a unique facility for biomedical research, which will build on Aston's grade 5 research rated Neurosciences Research Institute (NRI). The project is funded by HEFCE's Science Research Investment Fund (SRIF), Advantage West Midlands, The Wellcome Trust and Aston University. Through Aston's Business Partnership Unit, the AALS will provide a platform for the development of patents, license opportunities and new spin-out companies, resulting in income generating opportunities and enhanced employment potential within the West Midlands.

Key activities within the Academy will include research into:

• Cornea and refractive surgery

• Brain imaging and epilepsy

• Paediatric Cochlear Implantation and Rehabilitation (in association with Birmingham Children's Hospital)

John Edwards, Chief Executive of AWM, said: "Aston University is making a massive contribution to the development of Birmingham, and The Aston Academy of Life Sciences, being the first in the region and in the UK, will be a unique facility for biomedical research. At the heart of the Midlands Medical Technologies cluster, it will have a direct link to other local Universities and will provide leading edge services to the Region."

Dr Sarah Hosking from Aston University added: " Commencement of this state of the art building, designed by local company Associated Architects, represents both the literal and metaphorical breaking of new ground for the region, particularly in relation to the commercialisation of research in health and biomedical technologies. I am personally delighted to be a part of the project and to see it enter this new phase."

ENDS

For further information please call 0121 204 4549 or email: b.a.l.coombes@aston.ac.uk

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