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New N8 Centre to Bridge Medical Gap

Story supplied by LU Press Office

A virtual Centre which brings together the work of the North of England's top scientists to advance Regenerative Medicine is to be launched on October 19th in York.

RegeNer8, The N8 Centre for Translational Regenerative Medicine will be the focus of collaboration between industry, clinicians and academics at the north's eight most research-intensive universities, known as the N8.

The N8 has identified Regenerative Medicine as one of five key areas that would benefit from virtual and physical centres of industrially focused translational research. Currently an embryonic part of the healthcare technology sector, it has been recognised as offering major opportunities for global economic growth over the next two decades.

Safety in Regenerative Medicine has been set as the core focus for RegeNer8 following consultations with the healthcare industry, which included representatives from the bioprocessing, pharmaceuticals, biomaterials and medical devices sectors.

Under the leadership of Leeds University's Deputy Vice-Chancellor, Professor John Fisher, scientists will discuss the repair, replacement and regeneration of soft through to hard tissues, work on which has already established them a strong reputation.

Professor Fisher commented: "RegeNer8 builds upon the extensive research activities of the Northern Universities (currently, over £100 million). It focuses on partnerships with industry and clinicians to translate basic research into novel regenerative products and therapies, which will provide economic and societal benefits to the north of England."

RegeNer8 is part of a £6m project funded by the Northern Way, the consortium of the three Northern development agencies including One North East.

Other centres are to be set up to progress work in the fields of energy, sustainable water use, ageing and related health matters and molecular engineering.

The initiative is further bolstered by a partnership between the Leeds-based BITECIC (Biomaterials and Tissue Engineering Centre of Industrial Collaboration) and Cels, the organisation growing the healthcare sector in the North East. Both are providing RegeNer8 with business and marketing support to translate its world-class expertise into new Regenerative Medicine products and therapies. Its aim is to create new commercial opportunities in the healthcare industry by gaining a competitive advantage worldwide.

The N8 partnership, launched in March and directed by Sheffield-based Prof David Secher, consists of the universities of Leeds, Sheffield, York, Durham, Lancaster, Liverpool, Manchester and Newcastle.

Prof Secher said: "The combination of the global research quality that exists across the North, with the close links to relevant industries, promises to make the N8 Research Centres powerful drivers, both for internationally competitive research and for economic development."

RegeNer8 was established during the first round of Northern Way funding and the Centre is currently bidding for the next round, worth up to £2m.

Thu 30 August 2007

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