Aberdeen universities aim to break newground in biotech and local involvement (The Scotsman)

Published on Tuesday 4 May 2010 20:35

INSPIRED by the man who attempted to pioneer the “human” computer, Robert Gordon University (RGU) is launching its third research centre later this month.

Mirroring Professor Kevin Warwick’s multi-disciplinary approach, the Aberdeen institution is striving to overlap its design reputation with innovation in other departments, to break new ground.

Prof Warwick attempted to perfect a link between computers and the human nervous system, bringing together technology and biology.

The university hopes to similarly use skills from separate fields to develop its research potential and knowledge exchange with business.

Funded by extra resources allocated to the university following its performance in the 2008 Research Assessment Exercise, RGU aims to combine the potential of four disciplines for which it was highly praised.

It is hoped the 60 researchers working on the new collaboration will work on projects including the creation of soothing environments for patients undergoing CAT scans.

Meanwhile Aberdeen University announced it will host the 2012 British Science Festival, 50 years after the awards last visited the city.

Tens of thousands of science enthusiasts are expected to attend the event.

Aberdeen was selected partly due to the university’s growing research standing and in acknowledgment of its involvement in the local community.

It is hoped the festival will bring substantial economic benefits to the North-east. The success of TechFest-SetPoint, a regional science teaching charity supported by the university, is believed to have played a part in Aberdeen’s selection.

Anne Glover, Scotland’s Chief Scientific Adviser and a chair in biology at the university, commended the decision. She said: “This is wonderful news for Scotland, and especially for Aberdeen and the North-east. “The quality of research in the region’s universities and research institutes is at the forefront of our knowledge in many areas of science and technology.”

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