This £5.7 million investment will boost the region’s clinical health research.

Over £5.7m to support groundbreaking research in Devon

Over £5.7 million will be invested by the National Institute for Health Research (NIHR) in NHS Clinical Research Facilities to benefit patients in Devon.

The Peninsula NIHR Clinical Research Facility (Peninsula CRF), which facilitates research carried out by scientists and clinicians at the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, the Royal Devon and Exeter NHS Foundation Trust and the University of Exeter, will use its funding to support early-stage research for people with diseases such as diabetes, obesity and vascular disease.

The Peninsula CRF provides clinical settings, equipment, research and clinical staff and volunteers from the general public for local health research.

Central to this activity is the development of a local database of information gathered from people in the South West which is used by researchers in their work. A key campaign contributing to this activity is the Exeter 10,000 project which aims to recruit 10,000 volunteers in and around Exeter to take part in research – the Peninsula CRF has so far successfully recruited more than 4,600 volunteers to the scheme.

The Peninsula CRF submitted its bid for the funding, which was judged by a panel of UK experts in both medical research and in running clinical research facilities. Winning bids were selected on the basis of the quality and volume of world-class medical research they support as well as other criteria including the strength of their partnerships with universities and industry.

The investment in the South West is part of a wider, nationwide investment of over £100m by the Government in 20 CRFs in England.

Professor Angela Shore, Vice Dean Research from the Peninsula College of Medicine and Dentistry, commented: “This investment direct from the Government stands testament to the extraordinary work already achieved by the Peninsula CRF, and the Government’s confidence in our ability to continue to produce research projects of the highest quality and with international impact. My congratulations go to all those at the Peninsula CRF, and our partners at the RD&E and the University of Exeter, who have contributed towards achieving this significant investment.”

Secretary of State for Health, Andrew Lansley said: “The public and patients think it’s important that the NHS should support research into new treatments, and we agree. That’s why we’re investing over £100m in research facilities, nurses and technicians to help make the NHS a world-class place to do research.

“These researchers will push forward the boundaries of what is possible. These are the people and the facilities where the very best new treatments will be developed for a huge range of conditions - from cancer to diabetes and heart disease. NHS patients are the ones who will see the benefit of their work.”

Promoting and fostering this kind of medical research is one of the Government’s top priorities, and through the Health and Social Care Bill the role that research plays in the health service will continue to be strengthened.

Professor Dame Sally Davies, Chief Medical Officer and Chief Scientific Advisor at the Department of Health said:

“These are very exciting times for clinical research in the UK, and this funding is a reflection of the commitment we have to supporting world-class experimental medicine.

“The Clinical Research Facilities will play a key role in supporting advances in treatments for a wide variety of diseases and supporting collaboration with industry. Thousands of people will benefit right across the country.” 


Date: 2 March 2012