Plans for a £37m materials innovation factory in Grove Street in Liverpool have been approved, with construction due to commence in September.
Manchester-based Fairhursts Design Group submitted plans for the 120,000 sq ft facility to Liverpool City Council on behalf of the University of Liverpool.
The facility is expected to be occupied by 250 researchers, including 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.
The building will feature flexible laboratories with interlinked workspaces and a central atrium.
Anthony Mulhearn, project manager at the University of Liverpool, said: "We continue to be extremely excited about what the MIF will bring to our University and how it will further develop our relationships with industry partners. The contemporary building clearly reflects our aspirations and provides exciting spaces for both our academic and professional occupants to discover and innovate. It will be a world-class facility and one which we are very proud to be bringing to Liverpool."
Richard Sagar, managing director of the Fairhursts Design Group, said: "The brief for the MIF has provided us with a fantastic opportunity to produce an exciting, bespoke laboratory design that encourages openness, sharing and collaborative work flows for one of the region's leading Universities and its industrial collaborators."
The Materials Innovation Factory is due to open in 2016.