Francis Crick Institute strategy unveiled at topping out ceremony

Sir Paul Nurse, Director of the Francis Crick Institute, has unveiled the organisation's strategy to coincide with the topping out ceremony for the institute, which will open in London in 2015. The ceremony on 6 June celebrated construction progress and the attainment of the highest point of the new structure.

The Crick will be a distinctive medical research institute that will carry out discovery biomedical research to help better understand why disease develops and to find new ways to diagnose, prevent and treat a range of illnesses such as cancer, heart disease and stroke, infections, and neurodegenerative diseases.

The institute will bring together outstanding scientists from all disciplines, carrying out research that will help improve health and the quality of people's lives and will help to keep the UK at the forefront of medical innovation.

The Crick is a landmark partnership between the UK's three largest funders of biomedical research (the Medical Research Council, Cancer Research UK and the Wellcome Trust) and three of its leading universities (UCL, Imperial College London and King's College London). This exceptional cooperation will allow us to tackle major scientific problems and generate solutions to the emerging health challenges of the 21st century.

Sir Paul said: "From the outset, the Francis Crick Institute has been an unprecedented collaboration between the UK's leading medical research organisations, academic institutions and industry. As we mark this important milestone in the construction of the institute, I wanted to clearly set out the Crick's strategic priorities, as well as high-level directions for the science that will be conducted.

"Our uncompromising commitment to excellence, our emphasis on multidisciplinary research, our focus on young and emerging talent, our novel ways of partnership working and our plans to export our best people to other institutions across the UK are some of the factors that will set the Crick apart."

The Crick's strategic priorities are to:

The Crick's striking new building – designed by architects HOK with PLP Architecture and constructed by Laing O'Rourke, the UK's largest private engineering and construction company – will house 1,500 leading researchers and support staff.

Dr Ted Bianco, Acting Director of the Wellcome Trust, said: "The Francis Crick Institute highlights what makes medical research in Britain so strong: significant funding from both the government and charities, emerging and established talent from leading institutions, and opportunities for discoveries to be translated rapidly into new treatments through the NHS. Its scientific strategy should ensure that it capitalises on all of these factors and quickly establishes itself as one of our most innovative and world-leading new research centres."

Full details of the Francis Crick Institute's strategy are available on the institute's website.