UK-China regenerative medicine partnership launch
3 October 2007
UCL has signed a memorandum of understanding with the University of Sichuan, China, to further research collaboration into biomaterials and tissue engineering.
The memorandum, signed by Professor Robert Brown (UCL Institute of Orthopaedics) and Professor Zhongwei Gu (National Centre for Biomaterials, University of Sichuan) was formalised at the launch of the UK-China Gateway Programme in Bioregeneration launch, in September 2007.
The event was sponsored by the Biotechnology & Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and the UK Foreign & Commonwealth Office, and signals a new era in partnerships between researchers in the UK and China.
Professor Brown said: "UK-China collaborative research in this field is at a critical phase. To actually fulfil its promise it needs two factors - true cross-disciplinarity and real funded work on the ground in UK-Chinese centres of excellence."
The gateway partnering scheme builds on strong existing links in tissue engineering/regenerative medicine, biomaterials, bioprocessing and biochemical engineering in four paired centres. UCL is partnered with Shanghai Jiao Tong University for tissue engineering and regenerative medicine, Queen Mary with Sichuan University for biomaterials, Oxford University with CAS, Beijing for bioseparation, and Manchester University with Dalian University of Technology for bioprocessing and cell separation.
The four paired gateways will promote collaboration with other colleagues in their respective fields and identify opportunities for collaboration across the subject divides. The gateway is also providing funding for four years to support young researchers and pilot studies and lab visits, which should lead to full grants. Above all, the scheme intends to enable and speed up direct funding and get real projects happening at grassroots level.
The launch featured talks from key researchers from leading institutes in both countries, and took place as a satellite meeting to the Tissue Engineering and Regenerative Medicine International Society (TERMIS) 2007 EU conference, hosted by UCL in September 2007.
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Image: Professor Brown and Professor Gu sign the memorandum
UCL is at the forefront of international research into regenerative medicine and tissue engineering, with research groups in many departments from basic research to clinical applications. It has also forged links in this field with institutions at home and abroad. Professor Brown is coordinator of the London Tissue Bioreactor Science Consortium and the British Tissue Engineering Network.
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