Health science centres announced for region

The creation of three academic health science centres (AHSC) in the West Midlands has been announced by West Midlands minister Liam Byrne, MP, during a visit to The University of Warwick’s Medical School.

The AHSC at Warwick will be the first in the Midlands and will bring together all the NHS trusts across Coventry and Warwickshire to draw on the university’s world-leading research expertise in systems biology, engineering and medicine.

Another two AHSCs are planned in the region.

For more details see The University of Warwick.  


MDF transformed by laser

The appearance of MDF is being transformed to produce an expensive wood grain finish with the help of laser technology in research being carried out at Warwick University’s WMG.

 The technology will make the sometimes dull material look more attractive.

As MDF is cheaper than wood and made from recycled products the Lasercoat project could reduce the price of wood products and improve the environment.

The technology is being used by one of the country’s leading manufacturers of doors and windows.

For more see University of Warwick.   

South Asian population has reduced cancer screening

People from the South Asian community are less likely to take up screening for bowel or breast cancer, research at Warwick University has revealed.

South Asian people are only half as likely to take up an invitation for bowel cancer screening and 15 per cent less likely to attend breast cancer screening, the study showed.

As a result of the research the director of the NHS cancer screening programme has vowed to do more to encourage greater uptake among the South Asian community.

For more see University of Warwick.

Waist-cutting curry

If you love a curry you’ll probably also have to watch your waistline. This favourite of dishes can be a real belt tightener.

But a project between Warwick University and Birmingham’s Lasan Indian restaurant could ease that squeeze by producing healthier Indian cuisine.

The results could not only help the Asian population, particularly at risk to some complications of obesity, but all of us who like nothing more than munching down a good Madras.

For more on the Spice for Life recipe book see the University of Warwick.

A curry at Lasan restaurant


£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.”