Kingswood MP and former Science Minister, Chris Skidmore, has called for the headquarters of the government's proposed Advanced Research and Innovation Agency to be based in the Bristol region – at the Bristol Bath Science Park.
The Science Park, in Emersons Green in the Kingswood constituency, also is home to the National Composite Centre, a leading centre for high value manufacturing, and will also soon host the University of Bath's Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems (IAAPS) which Chris helped to secure the £50million funding for.
In the debate, which saw the second reading of the legislation to establish the new agency, known as ARIA, which will receive £800m to conduct advanced scientific research over the next ten years, Chris made a pitch for the location of the HQ to come to the Science Park which has vacant land which has been reserved for science and innovation related buildings.
ARIA is expected to launch in 2022, with £50m being made available in its first year of operation.
In the debate, during which the Business Secretary Kwasi Kwarteng spoke of Edward Jenner's discovery of the idea for the smallpox vaccine in Chipping Sodbury in South Gloucestershire, Chris said:
"When it comes to the headquarters, the Bristol and Bath Science Park in my constituency has land that is free, and I am sure that it would give a very good rate if ARIA wished to set up there, right next to the National Composites Centre and the Institute for Advanced Automotive Propulsion Systems. It would be a huge opportunity if ARIA wished to locate in my constituency, which is only down the road from Chipping Sodbury—as the Secretary of State mentioned, the birthplace of the vaccine used by Edward Jenner."