Universities and research that change the way we live

Making blood, growing organs and living under the sea: the university research that will change the way we live

New report uncovers the top 100 pieces of research that will shape our future

The wealth of life-changing research currently taking place in universities across the UK is revealed today (Thursday 16 June) in a new report published to mark Universities Week.

Big Ideas for the Future looks at 100 ground breaking pieces of research from all fields, including science, social sciences, engineering, and the arts and the humanities, have been included in the report jointly published by Universities UK and Research Councils UK (RCUK). The report is narrated and backed by high-profile celebrity academics such as Professor Lord Robert Winston, Dr Alice Roberts and Professor Iain Stewart.

Professor Rick Rylance, Chair Elect of RCUK added: “Research has an impact on all our lives. Whether it is a breakthrough in experimental science, or an invention that makes new things possible, or a project that leads us to understand better the strengths and weaknesses of our society, research is the key to the UK’s growth, prosperity and wellbeing. Big Ideas for the Future showcases just some of the excellent research being carried out in UK universities that achieves these aims. It is vital we continue to support the talented individuals whose work makes a real difference.”

Bucks New University contributed a case study of the way in which their pioneering telecare centre in Aylesbury uses ‘information, communication and sensor technologies to deliver health and social support to people in order to help them live as independently as possible in their old age’. (See the full report on page 88 of RCUK’s Big Ideas for the Future http://www.rcuk.ac.uk/publications/reports/bigideas/)

The publication of the report forms part of the second annual Universities Week, which took place from 13-19 June 2011, and aims to increase public awareness of the wide and varied role of the UK’s universities.  Universities Week looks at the many different ways in which universities affect all of our lives — from supporting the economy, to working within local communities, to looking at how their research programmes could change our futures. Hundreds of events will be taking place around the country open to members of the public, as well as high-profile media coverage and activity across social media networks.

To download a full version of the report, visit the RCUK website. For more information on Universities Week, visit www.universitiesweek.org.uk and to show your support, join us on Facebook at www.facebook.com/ukuniversities.