Today, Her Majesty The Queen will be joined by Prince Philip at The Francis Crick Institute Opening Ceremony. Back in August, the Institute opened its doors to the first of more than 1,200 scientists. The facility is dedicated to research excellence, with a unique setting designed specifically for cross-disciplinary collaboration. Located at Midland Road, this fascinating building will be home to world-leading biomedical and innovation research teams.

The institute partnered with Block in 2013 to begin planning for the delivery of infrastructure, collaboration, data centre and cloud services. Block consulted across the organisation to fully understand the unique set of requirements this development presented, whilst also accommodating a future-state capacity for its evolving needs. The architecture provides users with a seamless connected experience over 12 floors, 1,553 rooms and across 93,000m2 of floor space.

We have worked with the Francis Crick Institute for more than 3 years on this unique and exciting new-build development,” explains Marc Chang, CTO of Block. “The project presented a number of opportunities for true technical innovation and required a complex and intricate service and solution architecture to meet its vision,” he adds.

The building itself is a high performance smart building, underpinned by a robust, digital infrastructure that enables its intelligent building management systems to control a host of environmental features, from lighting control to ventilation, with each feature triggered by thousands of individual sensors.

Further innovations include the institute’s Wayfinder Application, a first in indoor building navigation. Blue dot technology enables individuals to navigate throughout the site and locate facilities, and future state capacity to book laboratories and equipment, all from their personal device. For the first time in the UK, this has been achieved utilising the wireless infrastructure, rather than using a separate system.

Alison Davis, CIO at the Crick, explains “We had very high requirements for the new Francis Crick Institute laboratory and have worked with Block to make sure we have the digital infrastructure that we need for scientists at the forefront of biomedical research. Now that the scientists are moving in, it is fantastic to see them starting to make use of the digital capabilities of their new environment.”.

Partnering with a world-class pioneering organisation such as the Francis Crick Institute, and enabling it to realise true next-generation digital capability is something we are very proud of. The work of the institute is likely to impact the vast majority of our everyday lives, and it is wonderful to be an enabler of such a remarkable organisation,” concludes Marc Chang.