Jo Johnson MP, Minister for Universities and Science, with Professor Nick Talbot FRS (left) at the University of Exeter

Minister for Universities and Science visits University of Exeter

Jo Johnson MP, the Minister for Universities and Science, has met with key researchers and representatives during a fact-finding visit to the University of Exeter.

Mr Johnson, who was appointed to the key role in the post-election cabinet reshuffle, visited the University’s Streatham Campus on Monday, 22 June.

Hosted by Exeter’s Vice-Chancellor and Chief Executive, Professor Sir Steve Smith, the Minister learnt about the University’s world-leading research in both climate science and food security, the pioneering work being undertaken at the Exeter Science Park, and met students from a successful graduate-led start-up.

Mr Johnson began the visit at the Innovation Centre, where he was introduced to leading climate scientists Professor Tim Lenton and Dr Claire Belcher, to discuss their world-leading work.  The Minister also met with representatives from Tickbox, a website, founded by Exeter graduates, designed to help UK voters to access information about electoral candidates in an easy to understand and engaging way.

The Minister was also given an informative introduction to the Exeter Science Park, the knowledge based enterprise hub for the region which recently received a £10 million cash injection announced by the Prime Minister.

Mr Johnson then was given a tour of the Biosciences facilities at the University, including the Aquatics Resources Centre which encourages a wide range of research spanning basic biology, how chemicals affect aquatic organisms, and ocean acidification.

Professor Nick Talbot FRS, Deputy Vice-Chancellor (Research and Knowledge Transfer) then accompanied the Minister on a tour of his own laboratory, which undertakes research into how fungi are able to cause disease in plants and, specifically, one of the world’s most devastating diseases called rice blast.

Speaking after the visit, Professor Talbot said: “We were delighted to be able to welcome the Minister for Universities and Science to the University of Exeter. We were able to highlight some of the world-leading research and international collaborations, led by Exeter, into new and innovative strategies to control crop diseases important in global food security.”

Date: 23 June 2015

Read more University News