Imperial College London will build a pioneering biomedical engineering centre thanks to a £40m gift from an alumnus.
The donor, Michael Uren, former Imperial College mechanical engineering student and founder of innovative cement manufacturing company Civil and Marine, counts among the UK’s most generous philanthropists. Having made millions after the 2006 sale of his company, he previously donated to Imperial College London to fund a new laboratory for joint disease research.
The new centre will bring together engineers, scientists and clinicians to explore cutting edge technologies including 3D printing of replaceable bio-implants or computer-assisted neurotechnology.
"The philanthropic vision that Michael Uren and his trustees hold for this new Biomedical Engineering Hub is laying the foundations for an exciting series of innovative partnerships,” said Professor Justin Cobb, Director of the MSk Lab at Imperial College London.
"From our original narrow focus on joint disease and its huge societal burden, we are expanding to address other areas where human tissues fail. The Michael Uren Biomedical Engineering Hub will create the environment where we work together to engineer these solutions. Our challenge is that of affordable healthcare - restoring patients' quality of life at a sustainable cost. The benefits of this donation will be felt for generations."
The new centre is foreseen to become a heart of a new innovation district at Imperial West, the College’s new 25-acre research and innovation campus in White City, west London. The Hub will also incorporate clinical areas, providing patients with direct access to innovations in healthcare.
"Medical teaching and research didn't exist at Imperial in my day, but it has evolved into an institution where the work between engineering and medicine is today one of its outstanding strengths,” said Michael Uren, who graduated from Imperial College London in 1943.
"It seems to me that, in effect, what we are creating here is a new Silicon Valley London, which is bound to succeed. Imperial was inspirational when I first joined it as a young engineering student in 1940, when London was under attack every night, and it is inspirational today. May it continue to be so forever."
Imperial is already world-renowned for excellence in biomedical engineering research. Its Institute for Biomedical Engineering, founded in 2004, draws together expertise from across the College's Faculties of Engineering and Medicine, incorporating a wide range of collaborative networks and research centres.