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Lord Sainsbury opens science policy research centre

* 10 November 2003 *

Lord Sainsbury opens science policy research centre

Lord Sainsbury, Minister for Science and Innovation, will be opening the new Freeman Centre at the University of Sussex on November 13, 2003.

The £9.4 million state-of-the art building is the new home for the university's research team SPRU (Science and Technology Policy Research) and for the University of Brighton's Centre for Research in Innovation Management (CENTRIM). It is named after SPRU's founding director, Professor Christopher Freeman.

In his opening speech, Lord Sainsbury is expected to address the growing importance of science and technology research and the need for effective science and technology policies.

Director of SPRU Professor Ben Martin says: "We are delighted that Lord Sainsbury is able to attend.  He is familiar with the work of SPRU and the fundamental contributions it has made in the field of science policy research. The Government fully recognises the increasing importance of the work of SPRU and CENTRIM as we move towards a more knowledge-intensive society." 

The Freeman Centre houses more than 60 researchers and some 200 post-graduate students, making it one of the largest and most advanced centres of science policy, innovation and technology research in the world. The specialisms include: exploring new sources of energy and energy management; health and biotechnology; systems of scientific and technological innovation in a globalising world; benchmarking and improving the environmental performance of industry.

Funding for the Freeman Centre, which is a specially designed low-energy building, came largely from the Government's Joint Infrastructure Fund and the Scientific Research Infrastructure Fund.

The opening will be followed by a three-day international conference on innovation dedicated to the late Professor Keith Pavitt, a key figure in the development of SPRU, who died last December aged 65.  Professor Pavitt's research spanned economics, management and science and technology policy and the conference is organised around the major themes of his work. Visiting speakers include Baroness Sharp, a former SPRU researcher. 

* Notes for editors *

Lord Sainsbury will be unveiling a plaque at 1pm on Thursday, November 13, at the Freeman Centre on the University of Sussex campus.  He will then stay on for the opening session of the Keith Pavitt Conference, which will be held in the lecture theatre of the Medical School on the Sussex campus at 2pm.

Press Office contacts: Jacqui Bealing or Alison Field, University of Sussex,
Tel. 01273 678888, Fax 01273 877456, or

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