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Queen Mary University of London welcomes Chi Onwurah MP, the Shadow Minister for Science, Research & Innovation

Chi Onwurah was briefed about the University’s plans for Research and Innovation on the new Life Sciences campus at Whitechapel, and its commitment to delivering projects that have local, national, and global benefit. 

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The impacts of Queen Mary University of London’s research and the strategic projects flowing from this were discussed at a recent meeting with Labour MP Chi Onwurah, the Shadow Minister for Science, Research & Innovation and Professor Andrew Livingston, the University’s Vice-Principal for Research and Innovation.

Professor Livingston explained Queen Mary’s ongoing strategy to create an ecosystem in Whitechapel that places research excellence at its heart, alongside delivering an innovation zone whose projects benefit Queen Mary’s local communities, and further communities nationally and globally.

Professor Livingston also discussed Queen Mary’s commitment to increasing the diversity PhD students, supporting the University’s target to diversity at all levels of its research community over 2023. Queen Mary student, Jordan Marajh, spoke about his participation in the Queen Mary/IBM research internship programme, which helped him to see that a research career was for him and led to him studying for a PhD in Mathematical Sciences at the University.

A highlight of the meeting was a presentation by Professor Chris Shaw, Co-Founder and Chief Scientific and Clinical Advisor, Lisa Deschamps, CEO and Graeme Fielder COO of AviadoBio, a new Queen Mary Bioenterprises (QMB) Centre start-up which focusses on advanced therapeutics. The AviadoBio senior team explained to Chi Onwurah about how the incubation space and their links with Queen Mary help them grow.

Professor Andrew Livingston said: “It was a great pleasure to welcome Chi, giving us all the opportunity to connect about the ways our University works with others to discover, create and innovate. Our mission is to generate new knowledge, challenge existing knowledge, drive economic growth and engage with others for the public good to create a better world. Sharing this mission with politicians is important as it’s our view that government policies to support and drive innovation are vital for the future of the UK economy and the university sector.”

Chi Onwurah MP commented: “It was fantastic to visit Queen Mary’s BioEnterprises Innovation Centre and learn about their work across campus to build a local engine of innovation in the heart of East London. It was good to hear about their rigorous focus on diversity and inclusion, and the steps they are taking to foster innovation and encourage and support spins outs, as well as increasing the social mobility of low-income students.”

Also at the event was Jordan Marajh, a PhD student who said: “It was also a pleasure to meet Chi and to explain to her my PhD work through the internship programme. The purpose of the meeting helped to reinforce the work of academic researchers and the vital role they play in helping to formulate policies for science, research, and innovation. Chi very much understands this important link between academia and policy formation that ultimately benefits the economy.”

At the meeting, Professor Livingston highlighted other recent examples of the University’s innovative and collaborative projects, including:

  • Queen Mary’s Precision Health University Research Institute (PHURI) which is working to revolutionise precision healthcare from East London, changing lives there but also globally with a pioneering and ambitious patient-focused research in diverse communities.
  • Supporting STEM skills through a partnership with Newham College and a wide range of employers on the London City Institute of Technology (LCIOT), which secured £28m in funding from the Department for Education and the Greater London Authority so that it can deliver the technical skills that employers need to survive, and to create secure, high-quality roles.
  • Launching the Faculty of Science and Engineering’s Centre for Academic Inclusion in Science and Engineering (CAISE), a virtual centre to promote inclusive education as part of the Queen Mary Curriculum Development Strategic Project.
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