Norwich Research Park - Timeline

For over a century Norwich Research Park has made a huge contribution to science. Here are some of the highlights but for the full history take a a look at our detailed timeline

1910 John Innes Horticultural Institution (JHI) was founded in South Merton Norfolk with funds bequeathed by John Innes, a merchant and philanthropist.
1939-45 About half the land at JIHI was transferred from experimental to economic crops and research was re-directed towards the immediate problems of food production in war.
1960 JIHI renamed John Innes Institute (JII) to better encapsulate the plant, microbial and mammalian cell research in progress.
1960 The go-ahead to build new university in East Anglia is given the green light.
1962 Plans agreed for a food research Institute (FRI) close to the UEA site (which started development in 1960) to extend research on food other than meat.
1967 JII moved to Norwich to form an association with UEA, and was temporarily housed in FRI.
1972 The Centre for Climatic Research opens at UEA, founded by climatologist Hubert Lamb.
1977 Stamp issued to celebrate FRI Scientists Prof. Richard (Dick) Synge’s Nobel prize in Chemistry (1952) for his contribution to partition chromatography.
1978 Norman Foster’s first major building, The Sainsbury Centre for Visual Arts us officially opened.
1987 The Sainsbury Laboratory (TSL) founded for research on molecular plant pathology. 1989 – formal opening of TSL, occupying building on the John Innes Institute site.
1992 Official Launch of Norwich Research Park. (UEA’s school of Biological & Chemical Sciences, JII, IFR Norwich, the MAFF Food Science Laboratory and the British Sugar Technical Centre were the original members).
1994 Renamed John Innes Centre (JIC) when JII integrated with part of PBI and AFRC Nitrogen Fixation Unit which moved from University of Sussex.
1998 Prime Minister Tony Blair announced the go-ahead for the construction of a £214 million, 809 bed, new hospital. The project was the first large Private Finance Initiative (PFI) hospital scheme for the NHS.
1998 The Atkinson Report presented to BBSRC (Biotechnology and Biological Research Council) recommended rationalisation of IFR onto a single site; the consolidation was completed in September 2000.
2002 Norwich Bio-Incubator opens offering the first commercial space on the Park for start-ups and spin out companies.

TGAC (The Genome Analysis Centre) opened and quickly established itself as an expert partner in high throughput sequencing and as a leading member of the international wheat genome project consortium.

2010 Refurbished Innovation Centre is opened offering 30 state of the art office and laboratory spaces for growing businesses.

In August 2012 key stakeholders in Norwich Research Park North created Norwich Research Partners Limited Liability Partnerships to help them achieve their objectives.

2015 Bob Champion Research & Education building opens.
2017 Leaf Expression SystemsTM  opens
2018 Quadram Institute opens

Norwich Research Park Timeline

View a visual timeline of Norwich Research Park's history