Materials Innovation Factory OMICs Facility launched

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The University of Liverpool’s Materials Innovation Factory (MIF) has launched the ‘MIF OMICs Facility’.

Based in the MerseyBIO building on the University campus, the MIF OMICs Facility offers affordable access to state of the art genomics platforms, computational biology infrastructure and technical expertise to industrial and academic researchers.

MIF OMICs is embedded within the Centre for Genomic Research at the University and forms part of the University’s £68 million Materials Innovation Factory, which is set to open in 2017 and will revolutionise materials chemistry research and development by drawing together world-leading, multi-disciplinary research expertise, unparalleled technical facilities and a dynamic support infrastructure.

The new MIF OMICS facility highlights the important role that high-throughput technologies such as genomics, genome engineering and metabolomics play in the development of new materials.

In addition to £11 million of state of the art laboratory equipment, the MIF OMICs Facility includes office space and access to dedicated expertise in project planning, experimental design advice, sample preparation, data generation and filtering, primary analyses, detailed bespoke analyses and data interpretation and training support.

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At the launch event, Professor Bob Burgoyne, Pro Vice Chancellor for the University’s Faculty of Health and Life Sciences, said: “The Materials innovation Factory is a unique partnership between the University and Unilever which recognises the important role that high-throughput technologies will play in the development of advanced materials.

“The MIF OMICs facility being launched today builds on a long-standing and very successful relationship between Unilever and the Centre for Genomic Research, first cemented through successful TSB funding in 2011.

“It will further strengthen the relationship between the University and its industrial partners; allowing both groups to maximise the potential of this significant and unique resource.”

Dr Cameron Jones, Port Sunlight Site Director at Unilever, said: “The Materials Innovation Factory is a unique public/private partnership between the University and Unilever supported by the Higher Education Funding Council for England, as part of the UK Government’s Research Partnership Investment Fund.

“There is nothing else like this facility in the world and we are very excited to benefit from its proximity to our Port Sunlight site. We are looking forward to the great science this will generate in helping us to bring about bigger and better consumer innovations.”

Alex Herbert, Head of Research Funding at HEFCE, said: “HEFCE welcomes the launch of the MIF OMICs Facility as part of the Materials Innovation Factory, one of over 30 leading edge research infrastructure projects currently supported by the UK research Partnership Investment Fund.”

“Between 2012 and 2021 the Government will have committed £900m to this scheme which supports research projects that attract significant levels of private investment to drive innovation and economic growth.”

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