The UK’s Chief Scientific Advisor, Sir John Beddington, visited The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC) on Friday 7 October 2011. Sir John delivered a public lecture on the importance of international collaboration in addressing global challenges of food security and energy supply for a growing population.
During his lecture Sir John Beddington said that recent increases in food prices have thrown an additional 44 million people worldwide into extreme poverty.
Sir John also met with science and technology leaders in Malaysia. The visit follows the joint statement by the Prime Ministers of UK and Malaysia in July and is intended to increase collaboration on science and technology.
Professor Ian Pashby, Chief Executive Officer and Provost at UNMC said: “The University of Nottingham maintains and facilitates strong ties between the UK and Malaysia in both higher education and research.
“We are confident that high profile dialogues with senior members from the UK government will create opportunities for future collaboration as well as support existing partnerships between the UK and Malaysia.”
Sir John’s visit to Malaysia was to formalise the 'UK-Malaysia Partners in Science' programme with his counterpart, Professor Datuk Zakri Abd Hamid, Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia. The programme promotes cooperation on science and technology including research commercialisation and innovation, biotechnology, nanotechnology and maritime engineering.
The British High commission will work closely with the Ministry of Science Technology and Innovation, together with the Malaysian Industry-Government Group for High Technology (MIGHT) to encourage scientific collaboration and new research networks.
During his visit to the Malaysia Campus Sir John was joined by Dr Stephen Hall, Director General of the World Fish Centre based in Malaysia and Professor Sayed Azam-Ali, CEO of Crops for the Future Research Centre to set out the contribution Malaysia can make to global food security.
Speaking about the importance of international collaboration Sir John said: “We have to plan for a planet with about nine billion people by 2050, we have limited resources and a vulnerable environment. To cope, we will need to work together as a global community to develop a common understanding of the problems and the technology to manage and overcome them.”
Emeritus Professor Dato’ Dr. Zakri Abdul Hamid, Science Advisor to the Prime Minister of Malaysia said: “The UK has long been a friend and has a great history of collaboration with Malaysia. Today we take another step towards strengthening that partnership in the area of bilateral science and technology relations.”
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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘Europe’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking, a league table of the world’s most environmentally-friendly higher education institutions, which ranked Nottingham second in the world overall.
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More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise, with almost 60 per cent of all research defined as ‘world-leading’ or ‘internationally excellent’. Research Fortnight analysis of RAE 2008 ranked the University 7th in the UK by research power. The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health.
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