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Our History

The Norwich Research Park was first conceived in the early 1960s with the opening of the UEA which initially focused on Biological Sciences and English Studies. The university began life as a collection of prefabricated structures designed for 1,200 students on a site close to where it sits today.

This was followed by the relocation of the then-named John Innes Institute (now John Innes Centre) to Norwich from South Merton in 1967. The organisation undertook plant, microbial and mammalian cell research with a particular focus on crop science. The Institute of Food Research moved to the site soon after accompanied by the opening of The Sainsbury Laboratory in 1988 which was founded to deliver research on molecular plant pathology.

John Innes

1990s

In 1992 local partners joined together to officially launch the Norwich Research Park which marked the start of the Park as we know it today. The founding partners were: UEA’s School of Biological and Chemical Studies; the John Innes Institute; the Institute of Food Research; the Ministry of Agriculture, Fisheries and Food’s Food Science Laboratory; and, the British Sugar Technical Centre.

 

The Park has evolved and grown significantly since its launch:

1990s

School of Allied Health Professionals opens at UEA. John Innes Centre opens Joseph Chatt Building for Nitrogen Fixation scientists

2001

2001

NNUH opens and wins Better Building Health Award for Best Designed Hospital

2002

2002

Norwich Bio-Incubator opens offering commercial space for start-up and spin-out companies Norwich Research Park PhD Studentships programme launched

2009

2009

The Genome Analysis Centre (TGAC) opens and establishes itself as a leading member of
the Wheat Genome Consortium.

2010

2010

Innovation Centre launches providing 30 office and laboratory spaces for growing businesses

2012

2012

Norwich Research Partners LLP (later renamed Anglia Innovation Partnership LLP) is set up by partners to manage the Park and drive forward its expansion.

2014

2014

Centrum building opens and provides a fully supported hub for business and the research community.

2015

2015

UEA’s Enterprise Centre (right) opens providing a supportive hub to over 150 start-ups and small businesses.

 

The Bob Champion Research and Education building (below) opens providing
state-of-the-art laboratories for researchers to explore new treatments

2016

2016

Norwich Research Park joins New Anglia LEP’s Space to Innovate Enterprise Zone programme

2017

2017

Institute of Food Research transitions into Quadram Institute of Bioscience to fulfil ambition to focus on the interface between science, gut biology and human health.

2019

2019

New state-of-the art laboratories launched by the Quadram Institute.

2020

2020

COVID-19 hits and the Park’s researchers and businesses pivot to fighting the pandemic.

2021

2021

Ella May Barnes building opens providing state of-the-art laboratories and workspace for businesses in the region’s growing food, health and life science sectors.

 

Anglia Innovation Partnership LLP launch ambitious strategic and physical plans for the future of the Park.