World Class Science – The Four Science Themes

Professor Ian Metcalfe talks about Molecular Engineering

There is a revolution taking place in technology and science due to the growing ability to manipulate matter at the most fundamental level: at the level of the atom or molecule. This revolution is coming about through the convergence of physics, chemical and electronic engineering, chemistry and material sciences. Some aspects of this revolution fall under the banner of nanotechnology, while others fall within more conventional groupings such as chemistry, physics and electronic engineering; but all are converging in a new capability and discipline: that of molecular engineering. Many of the sectors being transformed by the molecular engineering revolution are key components of the North East economy: pharmaceuticals, manufacturing, chemicals, petrochemicals, semiconductors and electronics.

For Newcastle Science City, there are three key strands within molecular engineering that reflect true research excellence and offer attractive business opportunities.

These are:

  • Emerging electronics and sensors: a team of over 80 researchers is being assembled to exploit the commercial opportunities that exist in this field, for example in creating novel electronic devices.
  • Drug discovery and development: Newcastle Science City is seeking to build a truly world-beating research-to-business team able to exploit the opportunities for commercial impact through the discovery of new types and classes of drugs.
  • Bio-processing: by building on both the existing expertise in this field and the extensive links with industry, the aim is to develop a world class biopharmaceutical cluster in the region.

Each of these strands builds on existing strengths whilst offering true global opportunities to interact with business. Such an exciting programme will have a strong impact on the North East region – both catalysing new types of business start-ups and strengthening the technology base of existing companies.

Welcome to the future

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Further Information

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BBC Science & Nature
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International Centre for Life
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