MedCity launched to promote South East's science 'golden triangle'

Boris Johnson officially launches MedCity Image copyright PA
Image caption MedCity will receive £1.2m from the Mayor of London's office to attract companies to the South East

The "golden triangle" of London, Oxford and Cambridge could host the "world's most powerful life sciences research", the Mayor of London has claimed.

Boris Johnson was launching MedCity, aimed at strengthening links between hospitals, universities and businesses in the South East.

It will receive £2.9m from the Higher Education Funding Council for England, and £1.2m from the mayor's own office.

More than 700,000 people in the region work in the life sciences sector.

Life sciences concern the study of living organisms, and disciplines include biology, zoology and biochemistry.

'Too much pride'

Mr Johnson said the sector in the South East would one day match the "crucial position" of financial services in the nation's economy, and that MedCity would ensure greater collaboration between universities.

He told John Humphrys on Radio 4's Today programme: "There's too much individual pride; there's too much resting on their own reputations.

"We would be utterly mad not to demonstrate to the rest of the world what we are doing and to invite more investment and get more companies to come here."

The £500m Francis Crick Institute is due to open in London in 2015, and Cambridge has opened a new £212m MRC Laboratory for Molecular Biology.

Oxford University has proposed a £21m "BioEscalator" to bring together its medical research.

Sir John Bell, Regius Professor of medicine at Oxford University and a member of the MedCity advisory board, said attracting more life science firms to Oxfordshire could "only be good news for UK health science and the economy".

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