Public Health England and University of Essex sign innovation pact

Business / Tue 1st May 2018 am31 07:49am


A NEW agreement has been signed between Public Health England (PHE) and the University of Essex to explore innovative ways of working together including research, apprenticeships, student exchange and scholarships.

PHE Essex

PHE Deputy Chief Executive Richard Gleave and Professor Anthony Forster, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Essex, signed the Memorandum of Understanding (MOU), on Thursday (26 April), at the University’s Colchester campus. Harlow MP Robert Halfon and Bernard Jenkin, MP for Harwich and North Essex, were also present.

The agreement comes shortly after PHE was given planning permission by Harlow Council to create a world-leading public health science campus and headquarters at Harlow, in Essex. PHE Harlow, as the site will be known, is expected to employ up to 2,750 people by 2024, with scope for further expansion.

This landmark decision helps secure PHE’s role as a global leader in applying cutting-edge science to protect and improve the public’s health for the next generation, through the creation of a state-of-the-art centre of national and international scientific expertise. As well as providing a significant permanent economic and employment boost to the local economy, the campus will see up to 10,000 construction-related jobs being created for the duration of the build with a number of those recruited locally. The next step in 2018 will be the preparation of the site for construction. Building work will start in 2019 with phased occupation starting in 2021.

The MOU is designed to be a working agreement and is looking to pave the way for the development of an apprentice programme on the Harlow site involving the two organisations.

In addition it will allow PHE and the University of Essex to develop new ways of working together which could include:

· collaborating on research in areas such as health data, bioinformatics and green health and seeking research funding together

· bidding competitively for grants and other funding from national and international funding bodies in order to undertake world-leading research to help PHE continue to tackle national and international health challenges.

· developing the exchange of students and/or members of academic staff and providing work experience opportunities for the University of Essex students, such as placement years, at PHE.

· establishing academic links that could include honorary lectureships and professorships for PHE staff and funded positions at PHE for medical clinicians currently working at the University of Essex.

Richard Gleave said:

“This is a significant milestone which will allow PHE and the University of Essex to explore ways of working together for mutual benefit.

“Our first staff will not be moving to Harlow for another three years but planning for this is already well under way. Exploring partnerships such as this MOU is therefore a vital part of planning for our future workforce and ensuring we are able to deliver even more of our world-leading science and research.

”We want to collaborate with the very best commercial, public sector and academic partners. We are also exploring possible collaborations with many other local and national providers.

“We will be providing exciting opportunities not just for our existing staff but for those joining us in the future, including people living in Harlow and the surrounding communities.

“This is one of a series of MOUs with universities in the East of England that PHE plan to sign following very successful initial meetings with Vice-Chancellors and their teams.”

Professor Graham Underwood, Executive Dean of the Faculty of Science and Health at the University of Essex, said:

“This new partnership between the University and Public Health England will enable both organisations to combine their considerable expertise in health-related research and training to address the important challenges arising from modern living and an ageing society. The recognised strengths of the University in science, social sciences and big data, will enable new approaches and new solutions to be developed. It is excellent that the University of Essex can partner with PHE in its move to Harlow in Essex.”

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2 Comments for Public Health England and University of Essex sign innovation pact:

tony edwards
2018-05-01 09:20:06

Terrific News - Really good news for Harlow. We now have two universities investing in the town - Anglia Ruskin University with the Enterprise Zone and the University of Essex with Public Health England Toddbrook Labour Candidate

2018-05-01 10:15:50

Well done R H.

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