Philip Hammond: Durham physics centre a “wonderful example” of bringing science to life

By Eugene Smith

Philip Hammond, the Chancellor of the Exchequer, has applauded Durham’s research strengths and industrial partnerships in a visit to the University.

During a tour of Durham’s £11.5 million Ogden Centre for Fundamental Physics, which opened earlier this year, the Chancellor remarked the centre was a “wonderful example” of how disciplines such as maths, science and engineering are “brought to life, taught to the next generation of talented professionals, and shared with all those keen to engage with such important subjects”.

Mr Hammond met with students and staff on Tuesday, 9 May to discuss the connection between research and industry, with Durham having launched numerous spin-out companies since 1997, including Kromek, P2i and Ikon Science, which have created over 1,000 jobs.

The Chancellor also discussed the important role universities like Durham play in developing the regional economy and contributing to the government’s Industrial Strategy. The University currently contributes over £1 billion to the UK economy every year, including £650m in the North East of England.

Mr Hammond’s visit comes as the University embarks on a new ten-year strategy (2017-2027), with the goal of “delivering world-leading and world-changing research across all academic departments and institutes”.

Professor Antony Long, Deputy Vice-Chancellor and Provost, Durham University, said: “Durham University plays a key role in both the economy of the North East and the UK as a whole.

“Our new strategy will see us invest heavily in new teaching and research facilities with a continued focus on world-leading research excellence, solidifying our position as an anchor institution in the North East of England from which further economic growth can develop.

“As part of this vision we see a key role for Durham University in delivering innovation and technology transfer, as well as encouraging students to develop skills in key STEM subjects, that will be vital to the future prosperity of the region and the country. We were delighted to share this vision with the Chancellor of the Exchequer.”

Photograph: Durham University

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