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MP visits revolutionary bioprinting facility at University of Manchester

Academics from across The University of Manchester have today (Friday) hosted Bolton West MP Chris Green on an extended visit including a tour of the Bioprinting Technology Platform (BTP), a specialist national facility which houses the latest technology in 3D human tissue printing.

With support from the Henry Royce Institute, the UK’s national centre for research and innovation for advanced materials, the lab gives researchers and industry access to the complete fabrication pipeline from cell culturing to product evaluation.

Funded by a £200,000 grant from the UK Space Agency and assisted by the European Space Agency, a University of Manchester team are currently investigating how to optimise the bioprinting process for conditions experienced in space, such as lack of gravity.

Using the unique capabilities of the BTP, researchers are also collaborating with clinicians and cell biologists to develop 3D models of human cartilage and bone.

Mr Green, who before entering Parliament spent almost two decades working as an engineer in the mass spectrometry industry, began his trip at the Dalton Nuclear Institute – the most advanced nuclear research capability in UK academia – where he was briefed on current projects by Professor Adrian Bull MBE, Chair in Nuclear Energy and Society.

The Bolton West MP’s final destination on the visit, organised by the University’s policy engagement unit Policy@Manchester, was the Justice Hub to join a health-themed roundtable discussion with senior academics including Dr Philip Drake, Dr Jennifer Voorhees and Dr Jonathan Hammond.

Professor Richard Jones, Vice President for Civic Engagement and Innovation at The University of Manchester, said: “It was a pleasure to welcome Chris and give him an insight into some of the pioneering work we do in partnership with businesses right across Greater Manchester.

“The University of Manchester’s cutting-edge research in making a real difference in tackling pressing policy challenges.  That’s why it is important for influencers of policy, including MPs across Greater Manchester, to see at first-hand the work being done and to take that evidence back with them to Westminster.

“This was a particularly timely visit as the Chancellor announced a new investment zone for Greater Manchester in the recent Autumn Statement which will give further impetus to the work we do on innovation, advanced materials and manufacturing with our partners in the city-region.”

Chris Green MP said: “It was a fascinating morning.

“The University of Manchester has a thoroughly merited global reputation for research excellence across a vast swathe of subject areas, not least in technology, innovation and health.

“I was deeply impressed by all I saw and heard, particularly in the Bioprinting Technology Platform where the remarkable work going on places Greater Manchester firmly at the forefront of the medical engineering revolution.

“I look forward to following the many exciting research projects happening across the University, with lots more in development.”

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About Chris Green MP Chris Green was first elected as the Conservative Member of Parliament for Bolton West at the 2015 General Election. He was re-elected in 2017 and again in 2019. Prior to entering the House of Commons, he worked as an engineer in the mass spectrometry industry for almost twenty years. He currently sits on the Health and Social Care Select Committee and the Backbench Business Select Committee, having previously served on the Science and Technology Select Committee, Work and Pensions Select Committee and the Home Affairs Select Committee. He is Chair of the All-Party Parliamentary Groups on Medical Research, Healthcare Infrastructure and Digital Skills.  In addition to his role on the executive committee of the Northern Research Group, in July 2022 he was elected to the ruling executive of the 1922 Committee. He has been a Parliamentary Private Secretary in the Department for Transport, the Department for Education and to the Leader of the House of Lords. About Professor Richard Jones Richard Jones is Professor of Materials Physics and Innovation Policy at the University of Manchester; he is an experimental soft matter physicist. His first degree and PhD in Physics both come from the University of Cambridge and following postdoctoral work at Cornell University, USA, he was a lecturer at the University of Cambridge’s Cavendish Laboratory. He was a Professor of Physics at the University of Sheffield from 1998, moving to Manchester in 2020.  In 2006 he was elected a Fellow of the Royal Society, in recognition of his work in the field of polymers and biopolymers at surfaces and interfaces and in 2009 he won the Tabor Medal of the UK’s Institute of Physics for his contributions to nanoscience. He was Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Research and Innovation at Sheffield from 2009 to 2016, was a member of EPSRC Council from 2013 to 2018, and chaired Research England’s Technical Advisory Group for the Knowledge Exchange Framework. He was a member of the Sheffield/Manchester Industrial Strategy Commission and has written extensively about science and innovation policy. In Greater Manchester, he is the Independent Science Advisor to Innovation GM, a public-private partnership bringing together business, the Greater Manchester Combined Authority and Greater Manchester’s universities with the goal of developing Greater Manchester’s innovation ecosystem. About Policy@Manchester As the University’s policy engagement unit, Policy@Manchester connects researchers with policymakers and influencers, nurtures long-term policy engagement relationships, and seeks to enhance stakeholder understanding of pressing policy challenges.

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