The Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult (CGT Catapult) and Hertfordshire Local Enterprise Partnership (LEP) in the UK have announced that a new cell and gene therapy integration laboratory at the CGT Catapult facility in Stevenage will be part-funded by the government’s Getting Building Fund.
The new laboratory will be exclusively dedicated to the provision of cell and gene therapy manufacturing training and will utilise both digital and established teaching platforms. Learners will be trained using equipment capable of large-scale manufacture to meet the need for skilled workers to help accelerate the scale-up of growing cell and gene therapy companies locally.
The laboratory supports the national drive for skills development within the cell and gene therapy industry, and complements existing skills initiatives coordinated by CGT Catapult, including the Advanced Therapies Skills Training Network (ATSTN) and the Advanced Therapies Apprenticeship Community (ATAC).
Hertfordshire LEP has awarded £3,055,880 towards the cell and gene therapy integration laboratory. The funding will allow CGT Catapult to equip the laboratory with digital technologies including augmented reality, high-throughput manufacturing platforms and advanced analytics for the industrial manufacture of cell and gene therapies.
Paul Witcombe, Head of Enterprise and Innovation, Hertfordshire LEP, said: “We are delighted to have secured further investment to support future advances in cell and gene therapies. Skills digitalisation is a key differentiator and is absolutely critical if the UK is to remain a global centre of excellence in this sector.”
The funding will also help expand upon the industry-leading capabilities available at CGT Catapult, including at the facility in Stevenage which has been instrumental to the growth of the UK’s cell and gene therapy industry. The cell and gene therapy cluster around Stevenage has also recently been recognised as a High Potential Opportunity zone, set to attract overseas investment to the area to further strengthen the UK’s sectorial advantage.
Matthew Durdy, CEO at Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult said: “This Local Enterprise Partnership investment in the new integration laboratory in Stevenage has allowed us to move forward with this dedicated facility for the cell and gene therapy industry. This initiative will help to further expand the cell and gene therapy cluster around Stevenage and support the development of the UK skills base in the industry.
“Award of this funding truly encapsulates the LEP’s forward-thinking approach in supporting companies which are at the forefront of innovation, and at the Cell and Gene Therapy Catapult we appreciate their contribution in helping advance our mission to grow the UK cell and gene therapy industry.”