May 11, 2012, by David Greenaway
GSK and Business Partnerships
Partnerships are an essential element of successful organisations, a tried and trusted mechanism for sharing ideas, leveraging resources and breaking new ground.
At Nottingham, we have partnerships with many other Universities in the UK and globally, including our path breaking Collaborative Agreement with the University of Birmingham; with Research Councils, most notably BBSRC and EPSRC; and with public sector bodies, like our local healthcare trusts.
Given the pivotal role which Jesse Boot played in relocating Nottingham University College from the city centre to University Park, it is not too surprising that corporate partnerships are also an important part of the landscape for our University.
These offer opportunities for internships, graduate recruitment, joint research and strategic planning. And many of ours are longstanding and deliver mutual value: for example, our relationship with Boots goes back to the 1920s and there are Jesse Boot Chairs in Chemistry and Pharmacy; Rolls Royce has two embedded University Technology Centres; SAB Miller helped create a world class Brewing Science Programme and Centre at Sutton Bonington.
We have worked with the pharmaceutical giant GSK for many years. They employ more Chemistry graduates from Nottingham than any other University in the UK, have been involved in jointly delivering a Module in that School for many years, and our 4th year students have the opportunity to work on live GSK projects as part of their programme.
This mature and innovative relationship was given a huge boost last week, when Sir Andrew Witty, CEO of GSK (and a Nottingham Economics graduate) visited to confirm GSK were making a gift of £12 million towards building a new Centre of Excellence in Sustainable Chemistry and they would also endow a new Chair in this area.
Sustainable Chemistry is a vitally important area for the future and this commitment from GSK is a remarkable vote of confidence in the University in general and School of Chemistry in particular. This is a unique development. Together we will create what we believe will be the world’s first carbon neutral laboratories, which will help transform future research and teaching in Chemistry, as well as pioneering new ways of building and running laboratories which respect the sustainability agenda. Moreover, it will also bring more innovative design to the Jubilee Campus and one of the world’s top companies to a part of the city which we are helping regenerate.
There is another unique dimension to our business engagement, the opportunities offered by our Campuses in China and Malaysia. These are helping us work with partners in the UK with global ambitions and others in China and Malaysia who want to have a presence in our part of the world.
In China for example, we now have joint research with major players in aerospace, geospatial sciences, food sciences and automotive engineering and these were moved on by a visit I made with other senior colleagues to China in March. In addition to providing opportunities for students and researchers, they are also delivering value through novel and innovative training programmes, in both Nottingham UK and Nottingham Ningbo.
Sustaining and developing these partnerships will continue to be essential to delivering the best possible opportunities for our students, not just in enriching learning and broadening perspectives, but also in enhancing their employability. They will also help us sustain and expand our capacity for fundamental and translational research across and between most disciplines in our University.
Professor David Greenaway