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Ex-student gives £40m to college
5:52am Tuesday 27th May 2014 in © Press Association 2014
A former engineering student has donated £40 million to Imperial College London to create a research centre for biomedical technology.
Michael Uren made the unprecedented gift to the university to help London create a new "Silicon Valley".
The centre, to be built at the university's new Imperial West campus in west London, will house research into affordable medical technology to help people affected by a range of medical conditions.
The university's scientists and clinicians will work together with other companies at The Michael Uren Biomedical Engineering Hub to help encourage innovation.
Mr Uren, who graduated in 1943 with a degree in mechanical engineering, founded cement manufactures Civil and Marine Ltd, which he sold in 2006 for £400 million, according to the Times.
He said: " What I find so exciting about this project is that here is Imperial building one of the biggest research centres in the world within a few miles of the City of London, which itself has become the biggest financial centre in the world today.
"By putting the two together, what is quite clear is that the investment world will be watching for, and waiting for, the research and inventions which will create tomorrow's great companies.
"It seems to me that, in effect, what we are creating here is a new Silicon Valley London, which is bound to succeed."
His previous multi-million pound support for Imperial includes funding for a laboratory which focuses on joint disease and the surgery needed to restore function.
Sir Keith O'Nions, president of Imperial College London, said: "Imperial is profoundly grateful to Michael Uren and his Foundation for this remarkable gift, the most generous it has ever received.
"It will create a wholly new building and set of facilities for engineers and medics to come together and make new discoveries and innovations on an unparalleled scale.
"It provides enormous impetus to the development of Imperial West as an innovation district."
It comes a month after London Mayor Boris Johnson announced the launch of MedCity at the university, a hub of medical research centres working to create new healthcare appliances for the benefit of patients and the economy.