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The N8 Industry Innovation Forum was launched on 31 January 2012 by the Minister for Universities and Science, David Willetts, together with Iain Gray, Chief Executive of the Technology Strategy Board, Sir Alan Langlands, Chief Executive of HEFCE, and senior industry and academic leaders. The first Forum meeting was held on 1 February 2012, focusing on Advanced Materials Technologies, and brought together 120 leading industry and academic experts to generate new insights and opportunities for innovation. Significant progress was made in generating a pipeline of new ideas for collaborative research, and these will be taken forward using pump priming funds provided by HEFCE.

N8’s research themes have also been in the spotlight this month. METRC launched a new funding scheme at their ‘Nanotechnology: Delivering Innovation’ conference held in Sheffield on 6 February 2012, targeted at driving innovation in SMEs.

Our social sciences team has been developing a series of research programmes focused on key economic and social issues. A key feature of the programme is to involve users in the design and delivery of the research, providing more effective routes for knowledge exchange and policy influence.

N8 Parasitology lead, Mark Booth, was interviewed by the New Statesman about a global initiative that aims to control or eradicate 10 Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) within the decade.

And finally, Regener8 has officially launched details of its 2012 Annual Conference which is taking place on 27 September 2012 in Newcastle.

I hope you enjoy reading this e-bulletin and please get in touch with your comments and ideas.

Best regards,
Sarah Jackson


Creating new innovation communities to discuss ‘the art of the possible’

The first meeting of the Industry Innovation Forum took place this month and was attended by over 120 leading industry and academic partners with interests in advanced materials technologies across a range of sectors including aerospace and consumer goods. The meeting focused on eight topics that received the greatest industry interest across a range of sectors, which also had academic expertise within the N8 universities. The meeting was split into facilitated groups to discuss each topic in detail and brought together competitors as well as new collaborators including Unilever, Proctor and Gamble, Smith and Nephew and BAE Systems with world-leading advanced materials specialists from the N8 universities.

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METRC launches funding scheme to drive innovation

The N8 centre for molecular engineering, METRC, has launched funding designed to help companies to innovate in partnership with universities.

The funds were formally launched at the 'Nanotechnology: Delivering Innovation' conference in Sheffield on Monday 6 February 2012, where METRC also launched their new branding and website. The conference, supported by the Nano KTN and Materials KTN, also highlighted six successful research and innovation partnerships instigated by METRC between companies and universities.

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N8 social sciences research programme makes progress

January and February 2012 have been particularly busy months for the N8 Research Partnership’s social sciences team. Our research on demographic change featured at the Work Foundation/Lancaster University 'EngageHEI' conference which took place at the start of February 2012 and was attended by David Willetts. We used our research on demographic change to highlight how  involving research users in the design, delivery and dissemination of research  provides an effective route for influencing and supporting policy and strategy decisions.

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N8 Parasitology welcomes 'London Declaration'

On Monday 30 January 2012, Microsoft founder and philanthropist Bill Gates and the CEOs of several high profile pharmaceutical companies as well as the World Health Organisation gathered at the Royal College of Physicians in London. Together they formed the 'London Declaration,' a global initiative that aims to control or eradicate 10 Neglected Tropical Diseases (NTDs) within the decade.

The N8 Parasitology Group welcomes this declaration as a step forward in the research of life threatening parasites. Head of the N8 Parasitology Group Dr Mark Booth gave an interview to the New Statesman about tackling neglected tropical diseases with a collaborative and flexible approach.

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Regener8 annual conference 2012 theme announced

Regener8 has opened registration and announced the theme of their annual meeting. The Regener8 Annual Conference 2012 is a one day meeting with a focus on the translation and commercialisation of regenerative therapies. The theme for 2012 will be focused around progressing regenerative therapies into the clinic, with keynote speakers from companies who are doing this successfully in the UK and beyond.

Following the success of last year's sell-out Annual Conference in Manchester we are delighted to announce that this year's conference will be held in Newcastle upon Tyne.

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