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The Biopolis in Singapore is a custom-built biomedical research and development hub at One-North, Buona Vista. Situated on 183ha, One-North will be developed over a 15-20 year period for the benefit of a range of disciplines.
The development is situated adjacent to the National University of Singapore, the Institute of Technical Education, Singapore Polytechnic, National University Hospital, Singapore Science Park, Ministry of Education and Fusionopolis (an R&D centre dedicated to electronics and technology).
The Biopolis campus was created in order to provide space for biomedical research which could promote the collaboration between private companies and public scientific / educational bodies.
Biomedical sciences (BMS) accounts for six percent of Singapore’s GDP and BMS manufacturing output is more than S$23bn.
The Biopolis development project is being undertaken by JTC Corporation (formerly Jurong Town Corporation).
Phase one and two of Singapore’s Biopolis
The Biopolis phase one development was carried out by JTC Corporation (appointed in September 2000) and required an investment of more than S$500m. The phase one complex has a cluster of seven sky-bridge connected buildings which are 8-13 storeys high. The phase one complex was opened in 2003 and has a floor space of 185,000 square metres. It houses more than 2,000 personnel.
The seven buildings are called Chromos, Helios, Centros, Genome, Matrix, Nanos and Proteos. Chromos and Helios are used by biomedical companies from the private sector and the other five buildings house public sector biomedical research agencies from the Agency for Science, Technology and Research (A*STAR).
Phase two consists of a further two seven-storey buildings, Neuros and Immunos (for research into neurology and immunology). It was opened in 2006 at a cost of $70m and offered a further 37,000 square metres of floor space.
Phases one and two have a total occupied floor space of 220,000 square metres.
Tenants of the complex include pharmaceutical companies such as GlaxoSmithKline and Novartis, as well as biotech firms SingVax and CombinatoRx. Biotech company Austrianova is located in the biopreneur lab at A*STAR’s Bioprocessing Technology Institute.
Biopolis phase three details
Construction on the third phase of Biopolis commenced in April 2008 and was completed in January 2011.
Biopolis phase three saw the construction of two new buildings, Synapse and Amnios, that measure 41,505 square metres in total. It has rendered space for laboratories, research facilities, offices and retail operations. The buildings of five to seven storeys share two interconnecting basement levels.
The estimated investment for the development, excluding land premium and rent, approximates to $100m.
Biopolis phase three is intended to extend basic research activities into other segments of translational and clinical research, as well as medical technology research, to tap into the synergies within the Biopolis cluster.
The architectural design maximises the use of daylight, while the facade reduces direct sunlight on the building and minimises the heat gain. Green features of the building include the courtyard garden, a sky garden and energy efficient lighting, such as T5 fluorescent and LED lights.
The Biopolis phase three project was awarded to Crescendas Group by JTC Corporation under a design-build-own-operate basis with a 30+30 year lease. Crescendas Bionix, a member of Crescendas Group, is the vehicle for the project. The consultants for this phase of the project were Jurong Consultants.
Parson Brinckerhoff (structural engineer), Jurong Consultants (mechanical and electrical engineer, quality surveyor), Tinderbox Landscape Studio (landscape consultant) and Building System & Diagnostics (ESD consultant) were some of the major sub-contractors.
Phases four and five of Singapore’s biomedical research hub
On 25 January 2010, JTC Corporation announced the fourth phase of Biopolis. Phase four will include improvements to lab design for clinical trial support.
Construction of this phase will cost between $80m and $100m, raising the total cost of Biopolis to $700m.
JTC Corporation announced the fifth phase of Biopolis in June 2010 with the intention of catering to the increasing demand for biomedical research. Phase five will comprise of twin towers spread across a 9,621.4 square metre area, providing a gross floor area of 46,182 square metres.
Phase five will feature a 1,000 square metre ready-made laboratory known as Shell-Plus. It will consist of basic laboratory facilities and finished vinyl flooring.
Ascendas was awarded the construction contract for phase five in May 2011 for a value of $87m.
Both phases are currently under construction and are scheduled for completion in 2013.
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