Minister announces £40m for food and health research centre
- Credit: David Kirkham/Quadram Institute
A £75m scientific institute will put Norfolk at the forefront of research into health and food, a government minister said as he announced a further £40m funding for the project.
The Quadram Institute, on Norwich Research Park, has brought together partners from the medical, education, research and commercial spheres to improve the lives of patients around the world.
It will focus on the study of food and the human microbiome, the bacteria in our guts, and how they can be influenced to affect our health.
The building will house 400 scientists and clinicians when it opens in the autumn and will feature an endoscopy suite as well as research space.
Science minister Sam Gyimah was given a tour of the nearly-finished building as he announced the new funding, which will be spread over four years and will pay the running costs of the Quadram. He said: 'Through the research here we can help [patients] to live healthier, longer lives.
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'What is unique here is that you have patients, clinicians and clinical researchers all under the same roof.'
He added the research at the Quadram would not just benefit those in the local region but also people across the globe.
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The partners of the project include the former Institute for Food Research (IFR) which has been renamed Quadram Institute Bioscience, University of East Anglia (UEA), Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).
Prof Ian Charles, director of the Quadram Institute, said the aim of the centre was to help people to live healthier for longer and said it would be unique within its field.
He said: 'We are hoping get greater insights and have more impact on good health as a consequence of working together.
'As well as needing excellence in our basic research we also hope we can have translational benefits to other sectors.'
As well as helping in a clinical setting the Quadram will be aiming to feed into the food industry, by examining ways to improve the bacteria which come with our meals.
Mark Davies, chief executive of the NNUH NHS Foundation Trust, said the launch of the institute was a great day for patients and the entire region.