In early February, we had a chance to meet again in person with representatives from government, academia, industry, and other friends of the centre in our ‘Re-Connect’ event. The last two years have highlighted most sharply how our mission for the centre to be a specialist hub in measurements for health translation continues to be highly relevant, for the UK and globally, as new technologies for diagnostics and preparedness for future pandemics take centre stage in public policy.
As the centre integrates the unique expertise from both the University and the NML@LGC in applied measurement research - for instance, the combined complementary academic and measurement research leadership in optical spectroscopy and elemental mass spectrometry, respectively, which during the pandemic have already been proven critical in the development of new rapid and effective testing devices, offering support in vaccine development, as well as for cell and tissue imaging for health and life sciences. On this critical aspect, Professor Sir Jim McDonald, commented:
The key thing here is impact, making a difference and building a very strong research capability in Scotland. All of it is founded in strong relationships.
Delivering on the agreed objectives for the centre, such as engaging with Scottish industries, will be an important indicator of success as the partnership grows to full scale. Professor Julian Braybrook, UK Government Chemist and Director of Science & Partnerships, National Measurement Laboratory, said: "Our purpose is to help businesses innovate faster, more accurately and without risk. To drive innovation, to create and accelerate, we've had to rethink our traditional mechanisms for delivering those innovations."
The centre capitalises on existing critical research and measurement capabilities at the NML at LGC together with cutting-edge technological know-how in health and life sciences at the University of Strathclyde – and the broader Glasgow City Innovation District – with additional links to the rest of Scotland’s world-leading health and life sciences innovation ecosystem. In describing how the strength of these links in Scotland could go beyond measurements for health, Professor Julie Fitzpatrick, Chief Scientific Adviser (CSA) for Scotland, explained in her presentation how cross-disciplinary working is fundamental to understanding the success of Scottish Science’s excellence and impact beyond health: across economy, society, education systems, etc. Professor Fitzpatrick said: "Scotland is a great science nation. We need to make even more of it. It's all about public-private partnership which I strongly support."
Through scientists and specialists in the field of measurement and life sciences, with command of their domain specifically in novel diagnostics and therapeutics development, state-of-the-art cell imaging technologies and reference compound biosynthesis, the centre is able to offer bespoke analytical measurement solutions, aiming to ensure Scottish, and UK industry realise the value of measurement science and utilise this knowledge to increase productivity.
The recent appointment of Professor Damion Corrigan as the new LGC Chair in Measurement Science for Health, which was possible through contributions from the University of Strathclyde, CAMS UK and LGC, signals a strong commitment to long-term metrology research and innovation translation. Damion’s presentation in the ReConnect event was titled: ‘Developing new diagnostic technologies for SARS-CoV-2’.
Professor Corrigan will bring scientific leadership to deliver the end-to-end impact of our centre’s research strategy.
Finally, the centre is especially committed to providing Scotland with a more productive future workforce through the education and training of scientists and engineers. You can contact us to find out more about our PhD student, Aristea Leventi's latest research in nanotechnology and cancer therapeutics. This co-funded project between NML@LGC and Strathclyde showcases the importance of investing in early measurement science research and its impact in future therapeutic treatments.
Thank you to all participants in this Re-Connect event. The Centre is open to your enquiries on measurement science and look forward to collaborating in exciting projects!
Please note: if you would like a copy of the conference presentations, please contact us.