New Science Minister visits White City Campus

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Dr Anna Winiwarter describes the cutting-edge technology in the Royce at Imperial facility to Science Minister Andrew Griffith MP

Dr Anna Winiwarter describes the cutting-edge Royce at Imperial facilities to Minister Andrew Griffith MP

The new Minister for Science, Research and Innovation Andrew Griffith MP met Imperial's community at the White City campus earlier this week.

Hosted by Provost Professor Ian Walmsley and Vice-Provost (Education and Student Experience) Professor Peter Haynes, the Minister met with researchers and start-ups and saw cutting-edge research and innovation spanning defence and security, synthetic biology and quantum technologies across the innovation campus. He also learnt about Imperial’s leading innovation spaces and discussed UK science policy with a group of early- and mid-career researchers from across Imperial. 

Minister Andrew Griffith MP talks to Schelly Soliman, Puraffinity Lab Manager in their research facilities
Minister Andrew Griffith MP in conversation with Schelly Soliman, Lab Manager at Puraffinity

Imperial’s contribution to innovation in strategic technologies was a key focus of the visit. Professor Deeph Chana, Managing Director of the Defence Innovation Accelerator for the North Atlantic (DIANA) explained the work of the accelerator on emerging and disruptive technologies. At the London BioFoundry and SynbiCITE, the UK's national synthetic biology industry and engineering biology industrial accelerator, Professor Dick Kitney, Chair of BioMedical Systems Engineering in the Department of Bioengineering and Co-Founder and Co-Director of SynbiCITE and Professor Paul Freemont, Chair in Protein Crystallogrophy and Co-Founder and Co-Director of SynbiCITE, and colleagues discussed how discovery research in synthetic biology is translated into innovative businesses. At Imperial's Royce Institute Hub, Mr Griffiths learnt about the cutting edge facilities for the study of advanced materials that support the development of quantum technologies, led by Professor Neil Alford, Professor of Materials, and Dr Anna Winiwarter, Research Associate in the Faculty of Engineering. 

Minister Andrew Griffith MP, Professor Ian Walmsley and Professor Peter Haynes pictured smiling with the Puraffinity team in their research facilities
Minister Andrew Griffith MP, Professor Ian Walmsley and Professor Peter Haynes with the Puraffinity team in their research facilities

The Minister saw Imperial's substantial infrastructure and support for innovative and entrepreneurial activities at White City at the Advanced Hackspace and Imperial's incubator in Scale Space. He met with the co-founder of Puraffinity, Henrik Hagemann, and heard about their innovation journey through Imperial's innovation ecosystem from student start-up to successful scale-up.  

Minister Andrew Griffith MP sitting in a circle with Imperial researchers and professionals discussing their experiences in research
Minister Andrew Griffith MP discussing careers in science with Imperial early and mid-career researchers

Imperial researchers in the early and mid-stages of their careers joined Mr Griffiths for a discussion on UK research talent. Dr Teresa Thurston, Advanced Research Fellow, Department of Infectious Diseases, Faculty of Medicine, Dr Huw Shiel, Research Associate, Department of Materials, Faculty of Engineering, Dr Francesco Aprile, Lecturer in Chemistry, Dr Nazila Kamaly, Senior Lecturer, both in the Department of Chemistry, Faculty of Natural Sciences and Dr Adam Celiz, Senior Lecturer and Dr Sophie Morse, Imperial College Research Fellow, both Department of Bioengineering, Faculty of Engineering spoke about their research and career journeys and shared aspirations for the future. 

White City Innovation District

The innovation ecosystem at Imperial is now extensive and well-developed – ranging from the Enterprise Lab co-working space, where students can experiment and test business ideas, to Scale Space, which takes companies to the next level in the heart of the thriving White City Innovation District.

At its White City Campus, Imperial is bringing academia and business together on an unprecedented scale to support economic growth and local skills, enterprise and innovation with an impact locally and across the UK. 

Photography credit: Lucy Pope


Lisa Bungeroth

Lisa Bungeroth
Office of the President

James Tooze

James Tooze
Office of the President

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Synthetic-biology, Quantum, Materials, Postdoctoral-researchers, 4IR, White-City-Campus, Entrepreneurship, White-City-Incubator, Research, Government-and-policy
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