The University of Liverpool has selected Salford-based Bam Construction as its preferred contractor for the £37m materials innovation factory in Grove Street.
The project includes the demolition of an existing lecture theatre and the construction of the four-storey 120,000 sq ft facility that will incorporate research laboratories, 126 fume cupboards, office accommodation and associated ancillary spaces.
Work is scheduled to start on site in November 2014 with practical completion in July 2016.
When completed MIF is expected to be occupied by 240 researchers, including 140 university staff, a team of Unilever scientists, and a broad range of other industrial and academic partners.
The development of the MIF is a public-private partnership between the university and Unilever and is supported by the higher education funding council for England as part of the Government's research partnership investment fund.
Anthony Mulhearn, project manager at the University of Liverpool said: "We are delighted to be moving the MIF project to the next stage with the appointment of BAM Construction to build this world-class facility and one which we are very proud to bring to Liverpool. This contemporary building clearly reflects our aspirations and provides the ideal environment to further our relationships with industry partners."
The University of Liverpool's team includes architect Fairhursts Design Group, structural engineer Curtins, White Young Green as building services engineer and cost consultant Turner & Townsend.
Internally, the building will feature flexible laboratories with interlinked workspaces and a central atrium that allows light into the central offices, creating a focal point for interaction as well as social space.