Scientists in the North East will benefit from an £8m cash injection

Business Secretary Vince Cable set to announce multi-million pound funding boost for scientists in the North East

Peter Byrne/PA Wire Business Secretary Vince Cable
Business Secretary Vince Cable

Scientists in the North East will benefit from an £8m funding boost to help with pioneering research to drive the economy of the future.

Business Secretary Vince Cable will today announce a cash injection of £4m for a partnership between Newcastle, Durham and Liverpool Universities, which will be matched by a further £4m from other sources.

The funding will train the next generation of students in world-class bioscience to lead the future industrial revolution and boost the economy by building on UK strengths in health, agriculture, food, industrial biotechnology and bioenergy. The investment has been made by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

Prof Barry Hirst of Newcastle University, director of the BBSRC doctoral training partnership between the Universities of Newcastle, Liverpool and Durham, said: “All three universities are pleased to play a key role in training students in the North of England as part of this national programme, helping to keep the region at the forefront of scientific development.

“Through additional funding from other sources, the Newcastle, Liverpool and Durham BBSRC doctoral training partnership will be doubling this investment by BBSRC to ensure 80 students are trained in the partnership as part of this exciting national programme.”

Mr Cable will announce £125m of funding nationally over five years to support the training and development of 1,250 PhD students. The announcement will be made at The Roslin Institute, part of the University of Edinburgh, where he will meet current PhD students.

He said: “The UK punches far beyond its weight in science and innovation globally, which is a credit to our talented scientists and first-class universities. This new funding will safeguard Britain’s status as a world leader in life sciences and agricultural technology.”

The UK’s future depends on a new generation of scientists trained to help tackle major challenges, such as maintaining health throughout life, reducing pressure on the healthcare system, the growing demand for food and the need to transform to more economically and environmentally sustainable industries and energy.

Dr Celia Caulcott, BBSRC executive director, innovation and skills said: “Bioscience is having a massive impact on many aspects of our lives. BBSRC is paving the way for an explosion in new economic sectors and bioscience that will change the way we live our lives in the 21st century. To achieve this we need to maintain our leading position in global bioscience by ensuring the next generation of scientists have the best training and skills.”

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