Scientific attachés visit UCL

19 October 2006

Nearly 20 members of the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Science and Innovation Network visited UCL yesterday to learn more about the best of British science.

The scientific attachés, who are based at British consulates and embassies around the world, were welcomed by UCL Vice-Provost Professor Michael Worton, before attending sessions that gave a taste of the range of research taking place at UCL.

Dr Mary Phillips and Professor Peter Coffey spoke about UCL Biomedicine, Dr Steven Schooling (UCL Business) described the university’s knowledge transfer work and Professor Bernard Buxton and Professor Andrew Todd-Pokropek led a tour of the Faculty of Engineering Sciences.

The group also had a preview of the new London Centre for Nanotechnology, which opens officially next month.

A buffet lunch with international Pro-Provosts, Deans of Faculty and a range of UCL academics enabled the attachés to gain a deeper understanding of some of the groundbreaking research that is taking place at UCL. It also allowed them to forge contacts that they can bring together with scientists across the world for future collaborative projects.

“Professor Coffey’s presentation about the transplantation of stem cells was particularly interesting for me,” commented Cindy Vindman of the British Consulate in Atlanta, US. “Neural stem cell research is very active in my area, and I would like to bring a workshop of experts from the US to work with UCL researchers. The knowledge transfer talk was also very useful: it’s vital to have an exchange of ideas about how we approach intellectual property legal issues on an international scale.”

Andrzej Wajs, from the British Embassy in Warsaw, found the visit enlightening from the perspective of a new EU-member country. He plans to take lessons back to Poland about exploiting scientific knowledge, particularly in life sciences, in the commercial domain.

The visit was part of a ten-day training programme for the Science and Innovation Network members, who work to integrate science and diplomacy by establishing international links between researchers.

To find out more about the scientific areas discussed, or about the Foreign and Commonwealth Office Science and Innovation Network, follow the links at the bottom of this article.