Vicky Ford MEP

Member of the European Parliament for the East of England

24 NOV 2011

Local MEP visits Norwich Research Park

Vicky Ford, Member of the European Parliament for the East of England, visited Norwich Research Park on Friday 18th November to see for herself the latest developments in science and innovation coming from the institutes and companies based on the park.

Mrs Ford is the Conservative spokesman in the European Parliament for Industry and Research, and a full member of the Industry, Research and Energy committee (ITRE) and her visit gave her a taste of the cutting edge research that is happening across the research park. Her interests in the issues of food security, healthy ageing and energy were discussed in visits to the John Innes Centre, the world-leading centre of plant and microbial science, and the Institute of Food Research, the UK's only centre dedicated to the role food science plays in health. In addition, she was given a tour of the Biorefinery, which is using waste products from the farming and food chain to develop new biofuels.

As well as a tour of the park, including some of the hi-tech innovative companies based in the Bioincubator, Mrs Ford was shown around The Genome Analysis Centre and the newly opened NRP Innovation Centre.

Commenting after her visit, Mrs Ford commented: "I was enormously impressed by the wide range of food security and safety issues being worked on, from disease resistant crops to more efficient fuels and antibiotics. The scientists in Norwich clearly are world class. In Brussels I am fighting to keep EU research funding focused on the best and brightest projects across Europe. I hope that the scientists here will continue to benefit from this funding. All of us stand to benefit from their discoveries."

Professor David Richardson, Dean of Science at the University of East Anglia gave an overview of UEA's science and innovation, and Alan Giles, NRP Director outlined the future plans for the park, which draws on the strengths of all of the partners.

The plans centre on the generation of 5000 additional jobs on the park and in greater Norwich over the next 10 to 15 years through growth in start-up companies, inward location and institutional growth, with the Norwich Research Park being a key driver of the local economy.

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My Political Priorities

Economic Stability must come first. Without a strong economy we can not deliver a strong society. I work with businesses and consumers to keep Britain open for business, cutting red tape, boosting trade opportunities and helping to deliver jobs and growth for all.

I support Science and Research which is key to delivering better medical care, healthy food as well as the Innovation and Creative Industries which bring improved lifestyles for all our families.

Strong home Security is vital in today's uncertain world, which requires robust policing and defence and deep international relationships that we can depend on. I work with others to achieve this.

I care about the Countryside and the Environment and making sure that rural and urban communities flourish.