Birmingham leads fluoridation

The UK is set to follow Birmingham in adding fluoride to tap water to prevent tooth decay.

Health secretary Alan Johnson has made £14m a year available over the next three years to help health authorities introduce fluoridation scheme.

Fluoride has been added to tap water in Birmingham for 40 years. Studies have shown that children in the city have half the cases of tooth decay than children in non-fluoridated Manchester.

For more see the Department of Health

£10 Million Scheme Brings Young Science Stars to Birmingham Science City

The Universities of Warwick and Birmingham, have together just been awarded almost £10 million to bring young science stars to the Birmingham Science City region.

The £9.6 million award, by the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s Strategic Development Fund, is a massive investment in the Birmingham Science City region. The initiative supported by the regional development agency AWM is a partnership of industry, business, education and the public sector, working together to establish the West Midlands region as a centre for world-class scientific research.

The funding will establish “The Birmingham Warwick Science City Interdisciplinary Research Alliance”, an alliance of the region’s two highest ranking research universities.

This alliance of interdisciplinary, inter-institutional academic research staff gives a further boost to the already planned considerable capital investment of up to £80 million for collaborative research for the Birmingham Science City initiative funded by AWM.

The funding will allow the Alliance to recruit 15-20 young but very high potential researchers in science, engineering and medicine, who will be appointed as staff in one of the two universities, but who will also have an honorary position in the other university. They will focus on interdisciplinary projects between the two institutions and across three key themes:

Energy Futures – looking at hydrogen energy generation, storage and use, and how to reduce energy demand and increasing efficiency in transport and buildings.

Advanced Materials – research and development into the creation, development and characterisation of new, advanced materials and sensors for applications in a diversity of industries from aerospace engineering to medical/healthcare and ICT.

Translational Medicine – Translating high quality clinical and biomedical research into improved disease prevention, new diagnostics and innovative therapies in Obesity/Diabetes (Metabolism), Infections, Heart Disease (Cardiovascular Sciences), Reproduction and the nervous system.

Minister for Higher Education Bill Rammell said:

“This is a very good example of innovative collaboration between two universities, bringing great benefits to the region though world-class research and I am really pleased that the Government is able to fund this project.

“The Government is committed to increasing the number of people studying and working in science, technology, engineering and maths (STEM) subjects and this interdisciplinary work will address some important themes and thereby further our goal of making Britain a world leader in research, development and pioneering new technologies”

University of Warwick Vice-Chancellor Professor Nigel Thrift said:

“This HEFCE award will help underpin a very substantial programme of research collaboration that will bring real science- and technology-led benefits to our region in partnership with AWM. Even more of the best researchers and students will be drawn to the area from across the world.”

University of Birmingham Vice-Chancellor Professor Michael Sterling said:

“This is a fantastic boost to the joint research that the Universities of Birmingham and Warwick are already carrying out through our unique collaboration on Science City projects.

“We look forward to welcoming the brightest young minds who can assist us in our goal to put the region on the map as a world leader in the fields of energy, materials and medical science.”

Professor David Eastwood , HEFCE Chief Executive said:

“Bringing together two research intensive universities in this alliance around the Science City initiative will provide a dynamic and excit”ng way of enhancing the critical mass and range of research and knowledge transfer activities. The benefits for the West Midlands region will be substantial and we are very pleased to be able to support this collaborative enterprise.”

Phil Extance Director of Innovation at AWM said:

“Advantage West Midlands is delighted that HEFCE have provided funding that complements our own capital investments in the collaboration between Birmingham and Warwick, further strengthening the capability of Birmingham Science City. This is a strong endorsement of the two universities and of the region’s science and technology base.”

Up, up and away with Science Day

More than 350 students from Northamptonshire, Worcestershire and the Midlands will this month learn all about the ‘fun’ side of science at the University of Birmingham.
From building remote powered vehicles using Lego to getting to grips with blood pressure monitors, the 15 and 16-year-olds will visit the university’s Edgbaston campus on 9th January to discover more about student life. They will also attend sessions delivered by the Mathematics, Chemistry, Physics, Engineering and Biological Sciences departments.

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