A world-class research and development centre is set to open in Hertfordshire, UK, thanks to £8 million of funding from the East of England Development Agency (EEDA)
The new state-of-the-art regional wet lab incubator centre, based in Welwyn Garden City, will be named Bio Park Hertfordshire.
It will provide specialist facilities and support for life science companies to grow and develop new products.
Working with former occupiers, Swiss healthcare company Roche Products, EEDA and the University of Hertfordshire stepped in to buy the laboratory complex.
All parties were keen to ensure that these valuable facilities were safeguarded for future use by the region's life science companies.
The new Bio Park Hertfordshire facility aims to stimulate demand for research and development knowledge transfer among the region's life science small and medium enterprises (SMEs).
It will ensure strong links are developed between regional universities, research institutes and the private sector and assist in developing high skill levels to support the knowledge economy as part of the life sciences enterprise hub.
The complex of laboratories includes industrial chemistry and biology labs, offices, meeting rooms and a lecture theatre.
David Marlow, chief executive of EEDA, said: "One of the East of England's key strengths is its impressive record in research and development (R+D) which is why EEDA is keen to support this project.
"In order to maintain our leadership position in developing and realising innovation in science technology and research it is vital we have a good provision of high quality R+D facilities.
"By enabling the University of Hertfordshire to purchase this fantastic facility, EEDA is helping to ensure our region's life science companies have access to the facilities they need to develop and grow".
Tim Wilson, vice-chancellor of the University of Hertfordshire, said: "The funding contribution from EEDA has enabled us to develop this unique opportunity.
"This project is ideally suited to the university's business focus and its commitment to breaking down barriers to collaboration between business, the professions, the public sector and academia.
"We are very excited to be able to announce this collaboration with EEDA that will allow us to create a centre of excellence in the region for research and development.
"Our vision is to provide an ideal environment for innovative companies to grow and prosper".
John Melville, managing director of Roche in the UK, said: "We are delighted these facilities are to be used to further advances in the field of life sciences".
Roche continues to have a strong presence in Welwyn Garden City having recently moved to a bespoke office-complex in Shire Park that meets the developing needs of its 1200-strong employee base.
The new facility will be managed by the University of Hertfordshire and overseen by a steering group of local and regional partners.