Stories

New State-Of-The-Art Science Park Opens At Porton Down

"One drop of blood and within 15 minutes you can tell whether somebody has got ebola..."

The Beech-Allen Building in Wiltshire is the first phase of the Porton Science Park which is set alongside the Porton Science Campus, home to the Defence and Science Technology Laboratory (Dstl), Public Health England (PHE) and Porton Biopharma Limited (PBL).

This initial project has been funded by Wiltshire Council and aims to create a platform for science and technology innovation and to nurture new and growing companies in some of the most dynamic business sectors in the country.

Forces Radio BFBS reporter Chris Sturgess spoke to Baroness Jane Scott, Leader of Wiltshire Council and asked her to explain the core purpose of the new cutting-edge facilities.

"It means that there's somewhere for those people who have got entrepreneurial ideas, particularly in the security industries, or in the life science industries, somewhere for them to start."

The building is already 70% occupied. Twelve companies have taken up residence at the park including Ploughshare Innovations, KalVista, Flurogenics and Immunotec. 

Chris spoke to Ploughshare Innovations CEO James Kirby who explained the close relationship his company has with Porton Down and why it's crucial they are based within such close proximity.

"We have a diagnostic device which was based on antibodies from Porton Down and we worked with an existing Ploughshare licensee to develop a device which was a bit like a pregnancy test kit.

"One drop of blood and within 15 minutes you can tell whether somebody has got ebola or whether they've got another disease like malaria which presents very similar symptoms."

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