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Mayor declares London is open for scientific research and innovation
Emma Kennedy - August 2, 2016

The Mayor of London, Sadiq Khan has vowed London will continue to thrive as a centre for life science research and innovation during a visit to what will be Europe’s largest biological research facility.

Sadiq Khan visited the Francis Crick Institute, near St Pancras in Camden, ahead of its official opening in November when it will welcome scientists from Europe and all around the world. The £700million centre for biomedical research and life sciences will house 1,250 of the world’s best scientists from 70 different countries.

Its work is helping to understand why disease develops and to find new ways to treat, diagnose and prevent illnesses such as cancer, heart disease, stroke, infections, and neurodegenerative diseases.

London has become a major hub for life science companies and continues to be a powerhouse for scientific innovation and research, attracting and retaining leading institutions such as the Francis Crick, University College London and Imperial College, as well as having world-class Universities in Oxford and Cambridge on its doorstep.

The capital is also boosted by MedCity, an organisation launched in 2013 to drive forward life sciences research, development, entrepreneurship and commercialisation.

The Mayor met with world-leading scientist Sir Paul Nurse, a world-renowned geneticist and cell biologist and Director of the Francis Crick Institute, to discuss the opportunities for life sciences and see first-hand how the knowledge and innovation of this cluster of world-leading research centres will continue to thrive following the European referendum result.

Sadiq is fully supportive of the Crick and its vital importance for the life sciences ecosystem in London and has made it clear, following Britain’s decision to leave the EU, that access to the single market is crucial. He has been pushing the Government to ensure this is the cornerstone of negotiations with the EU and continues to press for a seat for London at the Brexit negotiating table.

The life sciences industry is dependent on having access to the world’s best talent. The Mayor has reassured all European nationals who live in the capital that they are welcome and London is open to talent and entrepreneurship from across Europe and around the world.

Sadiq Khan said:

“London remains one of the most attractive places for life science companies to do business in the world and our great city will continue to lead the way in medical research and innovation. London thrives by being open: to talent, to ideas and to people. I am absolutely determined that this will continue, and that we not only retain the world’s best scientists but continue to attract them to our world-leading cluster of medical research institutions.

It is critical the life sciences sector is given the voice it needs through the Brexit negotiation period, and I have made clear to Government that London needs its own seat at the negotiating table, given the city’s importance both to the UK and to Europe. London is a global as well as a European city, and we will continue to forge new and deeper relationships with other countries around the world.”