Dr Duchars to head up £67 million cutting-edge vaccines centre at Harwell Campus
A £67 million grant from the Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund has been agreed for the UK’s first dedicated Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre (VMIC) located at Harwell Campus, Oxfordshire and headed up by Dr Duchars. The grant will allow the VMIC to provide facilities and subject matter expertise, fast tracking research throughout the country.
Three major UK academic institutions have come together to establish the VMIC including; The University of Oxford, Imperial College and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine with support from Industrial Partners such as, MSD, Johnson & Johnson and GE Healthcare. Through the collaboration of these world-renowned organisations, the VMIC aims to stimulate and accelerate early stage clinical development, whilst also serving as an emergency response capability for the British government to produce medication against specific threats, such as epidemics, emerging infectious diseases and deliberate\accidental releases of biological agents.
The VMIC is perfectly located, sitting at the heart of the Harwell HealthTec Cluster, comprising of 1,000 people across 40 different organisations. The Innovation Centre will become part of a well-established and proven life sciences community where it will be able to grow and become a vital component of the UK’s national scientific structure.
“VMIC will be ideally located within a proven and powerful life sciences community, where advantage is secured via access to an exceptionally skilled talent pool, world renowned expertise and globally important science infrastructure. Harwell’s people are hugely excited about VMIC having its new home inside the Harwell HealthTec Cluster which will catalyse even stronger collaboration between VMIC, leading research facilities and industry partners as they generate new vaccine solutions and scale up manufacturing.”
Angus Horner, Partner and Director at Harwell Campus
Newly appointed Chief Executive, Dr Matthew Duchars, previously worked in the biotechnology business for more than 30 years and is therefore experienced in providing strategic direction and technical leadership for the development of medical countermeasures.
“Dr Duchars will provide strategic leadership for the Vaccines Manufacturing Innovation Centre. His expertise and experience will ensure that the Centre will get off to a strong start when it opens in 2022. His appointment underlines our commitment to support this vital work in the field of vaccines, which will protect the public and support our burgeoning biotech sector.”
Sir Mark Walport, Chief Executive of UK Research and Innovation
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