Build of ‘world class’ research and learning facility in Edinburgh reaches highest point

L-R Professor Sir Aziz Sheikh (director, Usher Institute); Lord Provost Robert Aldridge; and Jonathan Seckl (University of Edinburgh)

THE build of a ‘world class’ research and teaching facility at the Edinburgh BioQuarter has reached its highest point.

Being built by McLaughlin & Harvey, the new £48.5 million Usher Building is due to open in 2024 and will aim to accelerate data-driven innovation within the health and care sector.

The University of Edinburgh said that, once open, the building will bring together 900 researchers, health and care providers, and industry partners focused on ‘transforming’ the delivery of health and social care.

It added that the build will accelerate new public, private, and third sector partnerships to discover, develop, and deploy data-driven solutions to address the most pressing issues in health and social care.

Development of the building will also bring additional benefits to the local community, with a dedicated open space for community connections, support and inspiration for STEM, and innovation life-long learning and employment.

The lord provost of Edinburgh, councillor Robert Aldridge, joined representatives from across the University of Edinburgh and Edinburgh BioQuarter, alongside those from Mclaughlin & Harvey, to celebrate the topping out of the building.

Lord provost Robert Aldridge said, “It’s fantastic that the next milestone has been reached on what will be a world class research and teaching facility in the region. The Usher Institute was and continues to be central to Scotland’s understanding of, and response to, Covid-19.

“The importance of using data science to improve and save lives has never been more obvious and I very much look forward to the work that will be undertaken in the finished Usher building. The Usher Institute enhances Scotland’s world-leading health data assets and is central to our future ambitions for developing an international network of healthcare innovation at Edinburgh BioQuarter to understand and advance global health.”

Professor Sir Aziz Sheikh, director of the Usher Institute, added, “Collaboration is at the core of our data-driven vision for the new building, bringing together outstanding academic and clinical expertise within the Usher Institute, alongside companies and health and social care providers. Working together, we hope to find solutions to some of the biggest health challenges facing our country, delivering better health and care for those in the region and across Scotland.”

Anna Stamp, interim programme director of the Edinburgh BioQuarter, commented, “The Usher Institute will deliver unrivalled health and social care data opportunities, and is designed to reflect the collaborative nature of the institute and our community of world-leading health and life sciences innovators.

“This groundbreaking development will support the wider ambitions to make Edinburgh the data capital of Europe, and supports our vision to create a Health Innovation District that will ensure Edinburgh is a leading global destination for pioneering health innovation and enterprise. Delivering many benefits for people and patients, locally, nationally and internationally.”