Chris Brink Appointed As New Chair Of N8

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Professor Chris Brink, Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University, has been appointed as the new Chair of the N8 Research Partnership.

The N8 Research Partnership is a collaboration between the universities of Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York, which utilises the combined expertise and capabilities of these research intensive universities. Centres have been established which focus on multi-disciplinary research strengths such as regenerative medicine (Regener8) and molecular engineering (METRC), each working to create collaborations between industry and academia.

The announcement was made on Friday 18 November and Professor Brink will officially take up his position as Chair of the N8 Research Partnership Board on 23 February 2012.

His responsibilities as Chair will include the development of new strategic research collaborations with business and research users to support innovation, economic growth and job creation in the North of England as well as the rest of the UK. He will also engage with key stakeholders including the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and the Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS), as well as providing leadership to the N8 Research Partnership Board and Pro Vice Chancellors Group.

Professor Brink is a logician with a Cambridge PhD, and interdisciplinary DPhil, Master’s degree in philosophy and mathematics and a Bachelor’s degree in computer science. He took up the position of Vice-Chancellor of Newcastle University in August 2007 and is the Academic and Executive Head of the University, servings on several boards in Newcastle and the North East of England, including the North Eastern Local Enterprise Partnership. Previous to this he worked at some of the leading universities in South Africa including Stellenbosch University.

Professor Brink takes over the role from Professor Keith Burnett, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Sheffield, who has been Chair of N8 since 2009. During his time as Chair he has helped the N8 to go from strength to strength, developing strategic relationships  with key partners and ensuring the sustainability of the N8 following its creation in 2007.

Professor Brink comments: “I am delighted to be appointed as the next Chair of the N8 Research Partnership. As a cluster of research intensive universities we have a critical role to play in fostering innovation across the UK, in partnership with large and small business, public sector partners and Government.

I would like to pay tribute to Professor Keith Burnett and his achievements as Chairman of the N8. Together with the Pro-Vice-Chancellor group, Professor Burnett has overseen the development of the N8 Research Partnership and initiated significant research collaborations, which have made an important contribution to businesses across the North of England and economic growth as a whole.

I look forward to building on this excellent work and developing new and dynamic research clusters to support growth.”