UKIP MEP Dr Julia Reid, a research biochemist by profession, is delighted to hear that earlier this month, Europe’s largest biomedical laboratory, known as the Francis Crick Institute, opened in London.
The biomedical research institute aims to determine how certain illnesses develop, and then with this knowledge, scientists aim to prevent, diagnose and also treat conditions such as: cancer, heart disease, stroke, infections and diseases of the brain.
The Francis Crick institute, which boasts a total floor space of 93,000m2, has been made possible by the innovative partnership between the Medical Research Council (which is a UK government funding agency that invests in research on behalf of the tax payer), two charities and three universities based in London.
Combined, these six leading medical research organisations have spent a total of around £700 million on the Crick’s institute; by pooling their resources into what is now the largest biomedical research institute under one roof, they hope to attract some of the best and brightest young scientists from all across the UK and the rest of the world, in order to take the UK to the forefront of biomedical sciences.
Although there have been some concerns shared by representatives of the Crick institute over the loss of planned EU funding (equating to £10m a year) in the wake of the UK’s decision to leave the EU, the Prime Minister has reassured Sir Paul Nurse, director of the Francis Crick Institute, that the government is committed to protecting science and research funding.
As a scientist herself, Dr Reid welcomes the British government’s promise to guarantee funding for existing EU research projects and is pleased to hear of their commitment to ensuring a positive outcome for UK science.
Addressing her fellow peers, Dr Reid said: “At the end of the day there is no such thing as ‘EU money’, there is only ‘tax-payer’s money’, they decide how we spend our money, and then we pay them for the privilege. By leaving the EU we will now save ourselves a net total of around £8.4bn from our membership bill. It’s therefore no surprise that Mrs May is more than happy to cover the £10m a year shortfall that the Crick’s Institute would lose from EU funding. It’s really nothing in comparison to what we will save. Let’s just hope she stands by her word.”