The first director of the £14 million Lincoln Science and Innovation Park has began his role at the university, bidding to drive forward Lincolnshire’s scientific and industrial legacy.Tom Blount. Photo: University of Lincoln press officeTom Blount joins the visionary project, led by the University of Lincoln and Lincolnshire Co-op, from the University of Warwick Science Park. At Warwick, he spearheaded scores of successful projects and supported hundreds of novel technology companies to develop new products and services.

The Lincoln Science and Innovation Park (LSIP) will become a focal point for innovation and investment in science and technology across the region. It will boast world class laboratories and research facilities, co-locating academia and industry on one site.

It is currently being constructed on an eleven-acre site off Tritton Road. The first buildings will open in summer 2014.

Mr Blount said: “We lead the world in some of the most important technology sectors of the 21st Century but we must work harder to ensure that the commercialisation and economic benefits of these technologies are rooted here in the UK.”

“At the heart of what we build will be an ethos of innovation, risk-taking, healthy competition, collaboration and endeavour – the principles that underpin British industrial excellence.

“We will help to create highly skilled jobs, retain graduates, generate investment and stimulate the growth of new industries.”

Initial investment in the LSIP by its founding partners totals £14 million. The centre-piece building, the Joseph Banks Laboratories, will open in summer 2014.

It will be home to the University of Lincoln’s School of Pharmacy, School of Life Sciences and its new School of Chemistry, which welcomes its first students later this year.

Chief Executive of Lincolnshire Co-op Ursula Lidbetter said: “The Lincoln Science and Innovation Park is an investment in our region’s future. Tom’s appointment will ensure we have the right expertise in place to make the vision of the founding partners a reality.”