A 20-year investment boost for Norwich Research Park

A �26m expansion programme at the Norwich Research Park will transform future opportunities for scientists over the next two decades.

And the opportunity to study at the world class facilities have brought applicants from hundreds of students to study at Colney, said Prof Dale Sanders, chief executive officer of the John Innes Centre.

In a brief welcome to about 400 delegates at the Norfolk Farming Conference, he said there had been a terrific response to a new undergraduate studentship programme. It had been more than oversubscribed more than 20 times with a total of 321 applications for the 16 places to take part in an eight-week summer school starting in July.

Prof Sanders, who was appointed in September 2010, said that had been 'huge advances in the past 10 years' at the JIC in a range of research fields. These would have 'an 'inestimable impact on the way we think about the application of life sciences,' he added.

A year ago, Colney had won funding for a long-term buildings and infrastructure alongside the existing facilities over the next 20 years. 'We will be looking at new buildings which will focus on the interaction between basic research and the more strategic and commercial outlets for the research,' he added.

Prof Sanders was keen to have more exchange of views between the scientific and farming community in future. 'There isn't nearly enough dialogue between us and you. We're constantly looking for new ways to explain about the research that we're doing here,' he said.

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