Edinburgh BioQuarter has formally launched its public procurement process for a private sector partner. The opportunity to create a £1billion (estimated gross development value) health innovation district which will create jobs, homes, and a community for thousands of people in Edinburgh has attracted interest from parties around the world.

BioQuarter, which sits just three miles south of Edinburgh city centre, is expected to be worth around £140m a year to the Scottish economy in the next decade, employing almost 13,000 people and supporting more than 200 health innovation companies to grow. 

Over the lifetime of the development, there is the potential to grow to a health innovation community of 20,000 with 2,500 residential units on site. It will create an entirely new neighbourhood for one of Europe’s most vibrant capital cities, supporting growth and regeneration for local communities. BioQuarter is expected to receive £550million of discounted capital investment, supporting 4,310 jobs in construction and contributing £270million gross, cumulative, discounted construction impact to Scottish GVA.

EBQ3 Ltd has been formed between the City of Edinburgh Council, regional development agency Scottish Enterprise and the world top 20 ranked University of Edinburgh to lead the procurement of a private partner for the proposed strategic joint venture partnership. The public sector led programme also includes major stakeholders NHS Lothian, a key partner in the innovation ecosystem, which has its two acute hospitals based on site.

BioQuarter has helped make Edinburgh the number one city in the UK outside of London for foreign direct investment. The 167-acre site is already home to award-winning health innovation businesses based at NINE, its Innovation Centre, the globally renowned Edinburgh Medical School, many of the University of Edinburgh’s world-leading medical research institutes and the 900-bed Royal Infirmary of Edinburgh. It also includes the new home of the Usher Institute for data-driven health and social care innovation, set to open in 2023. The land available for development extends to approximately 64 acres.

Scottish Government Minister for Business, Trade, Tourism and EnterpriseIvan McKee MSP​ said:

“This is a once in a lifetime opportunity and one of the most exciting investment and collaborative opportunities with far-reaching benefits for investors, local communities and global health innovators alike. It shows that Scotland is very much open for business.

“With the commitment of its public sector partners, BioQuarter has had over £600m public capital investment, with even further investment planned by them over the next five years.​ It has played a key role in Scotland’s successes in the life sciences sector, which has a turnover of £6.5bn and employs over 41,000 people. A private sector partner will help deliver a globally significant health innovation community of researchers, academics and clinicians and will continue to foster entrepreneurship, supporting as many as 200 new companies.”