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Governor Jeb Bush forges new links between Imperial and Florida

External Sites:
-University of Miami
-Enterprise Florida Inc
(Imperial College is not responsible for the content of these external internet sites)

By Danielle Reeves
Wednesday 19 July 2006

Governor Jeb Bush paid a visit to Imperial today, where alongside Rector Sir Richard Sykes he officially opened a unique seminar involving scientists and researchers from Imperial and institutions across his home state of Florida. The seminar was preceded by the signing of a Memorandum of Understanding between Imperial and the University of Miami, which set out a long-term partnership between the two institutions and established a new strategic alliance in engineering and information technology.

Governor Bush and Imperial Rector Sir Richard Sykes discuss the innovation-driven new alliance between Imperial and Florida

The 'eFlorida' seminar was organised by Enterprise Florida Inc., the public-private partnership responsible for leading economic development across the state, of which Governor Bush is the Chairman. Enterprise Florida Inc. has a particular focus on developing growth in the life sciences and bioscience sectors, and the seminar event provided experts from both sides of the Atlantic with the chance to outline their key areas of expertise and highlight shared research interests.

The event featured speakers from Imperial and Florida from a range of fields including cancer research, neuroscience and biotechnology. It highlighted the importance of bridging the gap between academia and industry in order to give university-produced innovations commercial viability.

Delegates from Imperial and the University of Miami sign a Memorandum of Understanding

Welcoming Governor Bush and opening the seminar, Sir Richard Sykes Opens in new window, Rector of Imperial, said: "Entrepreneurship is a major distinguishing feature of Imperial - it is at the heart of Imperials mission and it is implicit in our original charter written almost a century ago in 1907.

"The creation of wealth in today's global and knowledge-based economies is critically dependent on science and innovation. That innovation is increasingly being driven by partnerships which cut across international and organisational boundaries and which involve Governments, the private sector and academia. We welcome this opportunity to explore areas of synergy between our respective institutions."

Governor Bush added: "Florida has a strong life-science sector and a strong university research base. By investing lots of talent and money, and building closer links with institutions like Imperial, we hope to build an innovation economy which is the envy of the world."

Professor Julia King Opens in new window, Principal of the Faculty of Engineering at Imperial, welcomed the Memorandum of Understanding between Imperial and the University of Miami saying: "I'm delighted that Imperial is forging these new links with the University of Miami. The new alliance between our two institutions will encourage our researchers to undertake joint engineering projects, facilitate teaching exchanges and international discussion of key issues, and will enable us to bring together some of the world's leading academics in a spirit of collaboration."

The eFlorida seminar was organised at Imperial by the College's Business Development Group which is the primary interface of Imperial College London with industry. The group is dedicated to developing and supporting long-term, value generating research partnerships between industry and university investigators through an understanding of business needs, coupled with access to leading edge science. Imperial has one of the highest levels of industry funding for any UK university at 30 million pounds in 2005 and continues to be independently rated as one of the top UK and global universities for the quality of its teaching and research.

Watch video footage from the event here (RealPlayer)