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The University of Exeter is part of two Collaborative Training Partnerships

Universities unite with industry to foster next generation researchers

The University of Exeter is part of a newly awarded £19 million doctorial training partnership programme with industry leaders.

The Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council has announced the funding to support world-class industry-led doctoral training through Collaborative Training Partnerships (CTP).

The money will help facilitate high-quality training of the next generation of researchers, drawing on expertise in universities and industry. Exeter is part of two CTPs. One of them will help scientists understand more about disease, while the other will help generate more research into the relationship between pharmaceuticals and their impact on the environment, including how bacteria become resistant to antibiotics.

The University of Exeter Medical School has teamed up with Kings College London and industrial partner Eli Lilly and Company, to foster research aimed at understanding the mechanisms behind some the major illnesses affecting humanity, including dementia and neuropsychiatric diseases.

Exeter is also a key partner with the University of Glasgow and AstraZeneca in a CTP which will focus on developing a better understanding of how pharmaceuticals, including antibiotics, interact in the bodies of animals, including humans, and also their impact on the environment.

Professor Charles Tyler, of the University of Exeter, said of the AstraZeneca partnership: “I am delighted that we have secured this CTP with AstraZeneca. It further supports a strong partnership we have had for many years focused on assessing the effects of pharmaceuticals, including antibiotics, in the environment and human safety.”

Professor Jonathan Mill, of the University of Exeter Medical School, said of the Eli Lilly partnership: “This funding is fantastic news. In order to gain a better understanding of some of the health challenges facing society, we must bring together expertise from a range of disciplines. This announcement will help facilitate even closer collaboration between academia and industry.”

Nationwide, the investment will train and develop 189 PhD students to produce skilled people for the research base and build capability in the UK workforce. CTP succeeds BBSRC Industrial CASE Partnerships (ICP) as BBSRC’s mechanism for the block award of CASE studentships to non-academic research organisations.

Secretary of State for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy the RT Honourable Greg Clark said: “Furthering collaboration between government, academia and industry is a key part of the industrial strategy we’re developing. Collaborative Training Partnerships will boost the UK’s world-leading reputation for research and science while increasing the talent and expertise of our workforce in the UK and providing new opportunities for the science leaders of tomorrow.”

Dr Karen Lewis, BBSRC Executive Director, Innovation and Skills said: “Bioscience impacts on our lives in many ways. BBSRC strives to harness the power of bioscience to deliver a healthy, prosperous and sustainable future for the UK and beyond. To achieve this we need to maintain our leading position in global bioscience by ensuring that the next generation of scientists have the best training and skills and Collaborative Training Partnerships will play a key role in achieving this.”

Date: 18 November 2016

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