Vicky Ford, Member of the European Parliament for the East of England, visited Norwich Research Park on Friday 18th November to see for herself the latest developments in science and innovation coming from the institutes and companies based on the park.
Vicky is a full member of the Industry, Research and Energy committee and her visit gave her a taste of the cutting edge research that is happening across the research park. Her interests in the issues of food security, healthy ageing and energy discussed in visits to the John Innes Centre, the world-leading centre of plant and microbial science, and the Institute of Food Research, the UK’s only centre dedicated to the role food science plays in health. In addition, she was given a tour of the Biorefinery, which is using waste products from the farming and food chain to develop new biofuels.
As well as a tour of the park, including some of the hi-tech innovative companies based in the Bioincubator, Vicky was shown around The Genome Analysis Centre where she saw the latest DNA sequencing technologies and the newly opened NRP Innovation Centre.
Commenting after her visit, Vicky said: “I was enormously impressed by the wide range of food security and safety issues being worked on, from disease resistant crops to more efficient fuels and antibiotics. The scientists in Norwich clearly are world class. In Brussels I am fighting to keep EU research funding focused on the best and brightest projects across Europe. I hope that the scientists here will continue to benefit from this funding. All of us stand to benefit from their discoveries.”
Professor David Richardson, Dean of Science at the University of East Anglia gave an overview of UEA’s science and innovation, and Alan Giles, NRP Director outlined the future plans for the park, which draws on the strengths of all of the partners.
The plans centre on the generation of 5000 additional jobs on the park and in greater Norwich over the next 10 to 15 years through growth in start-up companies, inward location and institutional growth, with the Norwich Research Park being a key driver of the local economy.