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12 July 2010
Debating global health, food security and energy at Expo 2010

Three events at Shanghai Expo 2010 will tackle pressing global issues and give insights into developments taking place at The University of Nottingham and elsewhere, starting next Monday.

Shanghai Expo 2010

MRI and Sustainable Health, Global Food Security, and Energy Day
will each showcase high priority research at Nottingham and survey the scientific, technological, social and geopolitical developments.

Top researchers from the University’s campuses in the UK and Malaysia, as well as expert speakers from China and India, will provide subject briefings and discuss these issues with fellow scientists, policy-makers, business people, students and other academics.

All these issues are priorities for the United Nations, the World Health Organisation, and the World Bank. The population of the planet is expected to approach 9 billion by 2050, and the ingenuity of scientists has an essential role in preparing humans and world ecosystems for the challenges this brings.

The University of Nottingham’s Expo Lead Professor Chris Rudd, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for Knowledge Transfer and Business Engagement, said: “Expo 2010 provides a compelling platform to showcase our portfolio of work in sustainability and conveys our message to a genuinely global audience.

“Being at Shanghai Expo reminds us that resource management, population health and climate change are problems that respect no national boundaries. Every new visitor to our Pavilion leaves with a clear sense of these messages — but also alive to the knowledge that some of the most creative and dedicated scientists are improving lives, driving economic growth and helping our cities to eat, drink and breathe.”

The first event in the latest part of The University of Nottingham’s series takes place on Monday July 12. MRI and Sustainable Health will consider magnetic resonance imaging, developed at The University of Nottingham by Nobel Laureate Sir Peter Mansfield and colleagues.

Professor Peter Morris, Head of the Magnetic Resonance Centre at The University of Nottingham, will describe MRI’s contribution to advances in the detection and diagnosis of disease and, he will consider its use in screening at-risk individuals and providing individualised treatment. He’ll conclude by posing the challenge of how to provide this at an affordable cost, and the role China could play in its delivery.

“The University of Nottingham is the birthplace of MRI and its Sir Peter Mansfield Magnetic Resonance Centre remains at the cutting edge of developments in this field,” said Professor Morris. “The development of MRI in China offers exciting new opportunities which I look forward to discussing at this prestigious event.”

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Global Food Security, on Thursday July 15, will feature Professor Jeremy Roberts, Head of the School of Biosciences; Greg Tucker, Professor of Plant Chemistry in the Division of Nutritional Biochemistry; and Dr Timothy Foster, Associate Professor and Reader in Food Structure from Nottingham’s Division of Food Sciences examining ‘one of our fundamental challenges’ — ensuring secure, sustainable food supply.

“Responding to this challenge can only be achieved through the formulation and delivery of a robust strategy on food security,” said Professor Roberts. “No university in the UK is better placed than Nottingham to carry out multidisciplinary food security research.

“During a period of global retrenchment in agricultural and food-related research, Nottingham has had the foresight to invest in its facilities and encourage the development of research activities that underpin food production. The University is delighted to be able to contribute to Expo 2010 and use it to showcase its latest research which exploits novel techniques to optimise crop production and maximise resource efficiency.”

Other speakers at this event will include Professor Sayed Azam-Ali, Professor and Vice Provost for Research and Internationalisation at The University of Nottingham Malaysia Campus (UNMC); Dr Asgar A. Warsi, Assistant Professor, School of Biosciences, Plant and Crop Division, UNMC; Dr Chungui Lu, Lecturer in Post-Genomics in the Faculty of Science at Nottingham; Dr Sudeshna Mazumdar-Leighton, Associate Professor of Botany, Delhi University; and Mr Karl Zhou, Regulatory Affairs, Unilever Foods, China.

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Energy Day, on Monday July 19, will be co-hosted by a distinguished Chinese partner. “The University of Nottingham is delighted to co-host this event with the Shanghai Advanced Research Institute (SARI), Chinese Academy of Sciences,” said Professor Colin Snape, Professor of Chemical Technology and Chemical Engineering, and Director of the Energy Technologies Research Institute at The University of Nottingham.

“With a strong presence in China and an impressive energy research portfolio, The University of Nottingham is keen to further its collaborations with China in the development of energy technologies. This event will help build understanding between researchers, policy-makers and industrialists about the two countries’ contexts, strategies and research programmes for moving towards a low-carbon economy.

“It is vital that China and the UK combine expertise to tackle the challenges ahead and this event will bring together key individuals to help move collaborations forward.”

Other speakers at this event will include Professor Sun Yuhan, Director of the Institute of Coal Chemistry and Vice Director of Shanghai Advanced Research Institute (SARI), Chinese Academy of Sciences; Professor Wu Chuangzhi, President of the Guangzhou Institute of Energy Conversion, Chinese Academy of Sciences; Professor Huang Weiguang, Vice Director of SARI and Director of the Centre for Clean Energy Technology; Professor Li Kexin, Director of the Centre for Low Carbon Urban Study at SARI; and Professor Greg Asher, Professor of  Electrical Drives and Control, Faculty of Engineering, University of Nottingham.

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All events take place in The Auditorium at London ZEDpavilion, part of the Zero Carbon Living Space zone at Shanghai Expo 2010. MRI and Sustainable Health runs from 11:30 until 15:45, Global Food Security runs from 10:30 until 17:30, and Energy Day runs from 10:30 until 17:00.

The University of Nottingham’s exhibition and series of expert-led events runs from May to October in the London ZEDpavilion, the showcase of sustainable urban construction created for Expo 2010 by leading innovators in zero-carbon design and development ZEDfactory.

Throughout the next four months, top researchers from the University’s campuses in the UK, China and Malaysia, as well as leading colleagues from other institutions, will host 12 more thought-provoking workshops, lectures and conferences in total. These span Nottingham’s extensive research into sustainability:

Monday July 12 - MRI and Sustainable Health
Thursday July 15 - Global Food Security
Friday July 16 - Chevening Young Leaders
Monday July 19 - Energy Day
Monday Aug 23 & Tuesday Aug 24 - Eco-Urbanism: Towards Sustainable Living
Sat Aug 28 and Sun Aug 29 - Sustainable Energy and Construction
Wednesday September 15 - Rapid Social Change
Sun Oct 10 & Mon Oct 11 - Carbon Capture and Storage
Monday October 11 - Mental Health and its Role in Sustainable Industrialised Societies
Sunday October 17 - Moving Images and the Digital Eco-City
Wednesday October 20 - Alternative Energy: Hydrogen Storage
Sunday October 24 - Sustainable Agriculture: The Role of Plant Reproduction
The University of Nottingham’s world changing research based on the theme ‘Zero Carbon, Zero Waste’ is on display at the Shanghai World Exposition 2010 until October 31. Millions of visitors are expected to visit the Expo and many will have an opportunity to explore — through words, pictures and video — The University of Nottingham’s leading research in sustainability as part of a collaborative exhibition with ZEDfactory.

The University is also partnering with the East Midlands Development Agency (emda) helping to attract Chinese investment to the East Midlands through the work of emda’s East Midlands China Business Bureau.

Last month, emda announced that the Chinese car manufacturer, Changan Automobile Co, will establish its UK Research and Development facility at No 1 Nottingham Science Park, creating up to 200 new jobs.

The University of Nottingham’s dynamic internationalisation strategy attracts talented staff and students from 150 nations, undertakes world-changing research, and invests in award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia.

As the first overseas academic institution granted permission to set up inside the People’s Republic, Nottingham has taken a pioneering role in China. Since 2004, The University of Nottingham Ningbo, China, has grown to more than 4,000 students and has received numerous awards and accolades. It was also declared Outward Investor of the Year by the foremost China-Britain trade association, the 48 Group Club.

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© The University of Nottingham 2009