Essex will take another step towards rivalling America’s famous Silicon Valley with the signing of a multi-million pound deal for a new medical technology centre in Harlow that will create 500 jobs.
On Friday, March 23, Essex County Council will pledge £2.5 million towards the delivery of Anglia Ruskin University’s £5 million new MedTech Innovation Centre within a new science park at the burgeoning Harlow Enterprise Zone, that will boost the UK MedTech sector.
The deal was announced as Essex published a special report in response to the government’s Industrial Strategy, which showcases the county as a key investment area for central Government to realise its ambitions.
Anglia Ruskin University, supported by Essex County Council, has a vision to establish three MedTech Campus Science Parks at Chelmsford, Harlow and Southend, of which the Harlow MedTech Innovation Centre is a part.
These campuses aim to create one of the world’s largest health innovation hubs, attracting international and national companies around the innovative medical technology sector. Investment in the campuses will help to establish Essex, and the UK, as a global leader in this sector and will secure local and national economic growth.
Harlow Science Park, the new 25 acre science hub of which the Med Tech Innovation Centre will be the first tenant, will focus on high-technology businesses in the Life Science, ICT and Advanced Manufacturing sectors and provide more than 500,000 square feet of space with the potential to employ up to 3,000 people.
Professor Iain Martin, Vice Chancellor of Anglia Ruskin University said: “This is an extremely exciting project with the potential to help the county become a world leader in the medical technology sector. We are working closely with partners to drive up innovation and attract global and national companies, and we are delighted that Essex County Council has pledged financial support to this initiative.”
Essex business leaders in the technology and innovation sector have welcomed the county’s response to the government’s Industrial Strategy.
Arrow Electronics, whose offices overlook the construction site at the Harlow Enterprise Zone, will host Essex County Council and Anglia Ruskin University when the historic deal is signed on Friday.
A spokesman said: “Arrow Electronics is a global provider of products, services and solutions to industrial and commercial users of electronic components and enterprise computing solutions. We have a global network of more than 465 locations serving over 90 countries.
We welcome this response to the Industrial Strategy and look forward to working together in future.”
Andrew Cowan, Divisional CEO at Stansted Airport, added: “Stansted Airport is a significant infrastructure asset in Essex and across the UK as a whole. As the only major airport in the South East with runway capacity to grow over the next ten years, we have a critical role to play in unlocking economic growth, improving global connectivity, attracting inward investment and providing jobs for the region.
“We welcome this response to the Industrial Strategy which highlights key areas which are important to us and other major businesses in Essex – ensuring we have the right skills and talent to support our growing business, that infrastructure is in place to support job creation, and that Essex as a county makes the most of opportunities around international trade, investment and innovation.”
David Burch, Director of Policy at Essex Chambers of Commerce, added: “We welcome the Essex response to the Industrial Strategy and look forward to working together - strengthening business and promoting innovation and opportunity in Essex.”