Bristol & Bath Science Park officially open
After two decades of intensive collaboration, hundreds of people gathered this week at Emersons Green (Monday September 26, 2011) for the official opening of the Bristol & Bath Science Park, realising one of the longest-held ambitions for the region's economy.
Rt Hon David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, launched this new powerhouse for research and development by talking about the importance of innovation to the UK's economy before unveiling three glass sculptures to mark the opening of the buildings.
The sculptures have been created by internationally renowned and Bristol-based artist Luke Jerram, and represent three different viruses – Smallpox, HIV and an Untitled Future Mutation. The artworks will be permanently installed inside the inspirational centrepiece of the Park – The Forum.
Bristol and Bath form one of the six Science City regions in England, recognising its many achievements in world class scientific research, innovation and development.
To date, it has been the only Science City in the country not to have a science park and creating one is a major step forward in promoting the region's concentration of highly-skilled people as well as creating a hotbed for future innovation.
Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, said: “I am delighted to be opening the new Bristol & Bath Science Park. It will bring together universities and businesses and make the most of the region’s strengths in research, helping to create new products, companies and jobs. I hope it will rapidly become a key driver of growth and innovation.”
The Science Park will be the hub for the region's many science and technology businesses, connecting entrepreneurs, fledgling businesses and established brands with vital investors, academia and design.
The Universities of Bath, Bristol and West of England are key stakeholders in the science park.
Bonnie Dean, chief executive at the Bristol & Bath Science Park, said: "The region’s strengths in scientific research, technology and the creative industries, all of which come together at the Park, should make it a magnet for entrepreneurs and ambitious companies. The Science Park will also be a flexible and professional hub for collaboration between industry and academia.
"This is a momentous day for everyone involved in the Park and the region.
“The capital invested to date by the South West RDA and Quantum Property Partnership has been significant, but the most important investment has been from the many individuals who have persisted in helping us reach this stage. The next new, exciting chapter starts now."
Luke Jerram, who also installed the celebrated ‘Play me, I’m Yours’ street pianos in Bristol and around the world, said: “I believe that science and creativity are inter-connected and this philosophy runs throughout the Science Park. It’s exciting to have my sculptures in this space, where science, art and design will come together to inspire organisations at the Park as well as the wider community.”