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Europe: £81.6M Quadram Institute for food and health research

Norwich Research Park will house the Quadram Institute, a centre for food and health research.

Building of a new £81.6 million (US$116.23 million) facility to house the Quadram Institute begins this month, with an anticipated opening in 2018.

The initial investment for the Quadram Institute is being provided by the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council together with Norwich-based partners: the Institute of Food Research (IFR); the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust; and the University of East Anglia (UEA).

The Institute will integrate research teams from the IFR and UEA’s Faculty of Science and Norwich Medical School with the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals’ gastrointestinal endoscopy facility under one roof.

To be led by Professor Ian Charles, currently Director of the IFR, the Quadram Institute aims to develop solutions to worldwide challenges in human health, food and disease.

The concept for the institute is to enable a step-change in food and health science research by providing new insights and accelerating innovation that will deliver new foods and treatments as well as proactive health and lifestyle interventions, for the benefit of society and the bio-economy.

The creation of the Institute underlines the collaboration of the four founding partners and reflects its strategy to work across four research themes: the gut and the microbiome (the gut flora); healthy ageing; food innovation; and food safety.

These research themes will link closely to the plant and crop research at the John Innes Centre and bioinformatics at The Genome Analysis Centre, both also located at the Norwich Research Park, creating a plant-food-health pathway to deliver clinically-validated strategies to improve human nutrition, health and wellbeing.

The Quadram Institute will work closely with the food industry, healthcare and allied sectors to transfer its scientific knowledge into practice.