Left to right: Professor Rick Titball, Professor of Molecular Microbiology, University of Exeter; Professor Nick Talbot, Deputy Vice-Chancellor, University of Exeter; Professor Mark Goodwin, Dean of the College of Life and Environmental Sciences, University of Exeter; Cefas Chief Executive Dr Richard Judge; Dr Stephen Irving, Divisional Director, Aquatic Health and Hygiene, Cefas. Photo: John Ffoulkes.

Cefas and the University of Exeter sign strategic alliance

The Centre for Environment, Fisheries & Aquaculture Science (Cefas) and the University of Exeter have sealed a strategic collaboration today. The two institutes have signed an official agreement to combine their complementary capabilities and perspectives.

The signing session at the University of Exeter has formalised an existing collaboration between Cefas and the University of Exeter, which already includes lecturing opportunities, student placements and pursuing joint research projects. The alliance agreement is for five years.

Cefas Chief Executive Dr Richard Judge said: “We’re already seeing excellent collaboration between Exeter and Cefas. I’m delighted to be reinforcing this through a longer-term commitment. Bringing our respective strengths together helps us to get even more value from our research capabilities, bringing value to wider society and our scientists alike.”

The University of Exeter’s Deputy Vice-Chancellor Professor Nick Talbot said: “The collaboration is great news for Exeter. It not only provides access to applied scientific research teams at Cefas, but also provides opportunities for our students and researchers to utilise marine samples collected by Cefas. Importantly, it also enables us to demonstrate the impact of our work to government policy-makers and a range of stakeholders.”

Over the past few years the two institutions have worked together in a wide range of areas from jointly teaching on Exeter MSc courses and student participation on scientific marine cruises to joint research projects on ocean acidification, aquatic toxicology and marine organism diseases.

A workshop between the two institutions in 2011 explored a number of areas of mutual interest, including opportunities to develop future bids for research into marine bacteria and human health, chemicals and climate change, marine food, crustacean diseases, and micro-algae.

Dr Judge continues: “Cefas’ ability to innovate and to draw together high-quality science from a range of partners is fundamental to the advice we provide for government. The outputs from our alliance with Exeter will influence strategic policy-making and provide insight into a range of topics, from marine climate change impacts to invasive non-native species and human health.

“It will make a difference for society by supporting the long-term prosperity and the well-being of industries, communities and individuals that enjoy and depend on the natural assets found in our marine and freshwater environments.”

Date: 11 January 2012