'I need your help' - Norwich Research Park sets challenge for Norfolk's business community
Norfolk's business community was challenged to speak up for its success as Norwich Research Park was awarded the Outstanding Achievement award.
David Parfrey, who is leading the plans to grow and promote the park through to 2030, said the park wanted to be known as a place where solutions were found to the major global challenges of the next century.
Listing climate change, food security and healthy ageing, Mr Parfrey said the world was facing “challenges the like of which we have never seen before”.
“All of those things need serious solutions,” he said. “But it is so wonderful that here in this region we have got a place which is delivering those solutions. It’s happening right here in Norwich.
“Our mission with our new vision is for the world to recognise that this is the place where the answers to those global changes are found.”
But he told the 550-strong audience: “I need your help. I need everyone to be an advocate on Norwich Research Park and everything we do surrounding it, because it’s not just the park which is leading in innovation and research.
“We can put this region on the global map as the place where the world looks to for big problems to be solved. But we can only do that if people start talking about it.”
Norwich Research Park was the first organisation to win the Outstanding Achievement award in the history of the awards.
Presenting the award, Ciaran Nelson, director of communications at headline sponsor Anglian Water, said the park’s mix of a major teaching hospital, world-class university and globally-renowned research centres made it unique.
“Whether it’s deploying technology first used by Nasa to speed up crop breeding, or exploring the use of insect sex pheromones to help combat agricultural pests, it’s the endeavours of the 80 companies, 12,000 employees, 3,000 scientists and clinicians, and 14,000 students associated with the park that are the reason it has received this accolade,” he said.
“The whole thing is significantly greater than the sum of its parts,” he said. “We are extremely fortunate to have such a fabulous collection of facilities on our doorstep.”