Friday, 17 April 2009

Is Big Pharm Fund A Silver Bullet?

Reading University has recieved a big funding boost after it was named as one of 77 learning and skills centres to be allocated a share of a new fund.

The £53m Economic Challenge Investment Fund uses public and private money to provide 'targetted' help for short-term employment and advice as government tries to avert an employment crisis among the 400,000 people expected to graduate this year.

Labour minister for HE, David Lammy MP, said he was 'encouraged' by the commitment but TUC general secretary Brendan Barber offered a stark warning about this short-term emergency measure which uses taxpayers' money but does not include sufficient safeguards.

RU spokesman Alex Brannen described the pharmaceutical industry as "a sector of prime importance to the South East" and explained that the grant of almost £700,000 "will help the bio-pharma industry prepare for the economic upturn" by employing industrial fellows to provide specialist training for nine additional interns.

This is the second recent funding success for Reading University's Chemistry department. It was only in March that it was awarded £500,000 by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council to undertake studies on four projects, include investigations into drug synthesis, Alzheimer's treatments, as well as other materials science research.

The importance of the sector to the region was demonstrated recently as over 100 delegates and 11 industry heads attended the second annual pharmaceutical 'Responsibility and Reputation' conference held at Thames Valley University. The event emphasized the "importance of reputation and stakeholder management" as sustainability is now recognized as integral to corporate strategy and business organisation.

The news also comes only shortly after Reading University announced it would be closing it's highly respected School of Health and Social Care which trained professionals to provide therapeutic alternatives to medication based on clinical psychodynamics.

Oranjepan asks:
Is a short-term fix good for the health of the economy and society as a whole?

1 comment:

  1. 700 grand for nine interns.

    says it all really.


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