Rebecca Taylor sees EU investment in science and research in action

Yorkshire Lib Dem MEP, Rebecca Taylor, has welcomed the European Parliament agreement on the EU funding programme for science and research. This comes as Rebecca visited a project in Leeds.

l-r: Dr Karen Steenson, LifeLongJoints Project Manager, Faculty of Engineering Research Project Development Manager, Dr John Zhao, Research Fellow, Rebecca Taylor MEP, Professor Anne Neville, Michael Bryant, Research Fellow


The project Rebecca visited at the University of Leeds has recently benefited from EU research funds. 

The Lifelong joints programme, coordinated by Professors Richard Hall and Anne Neville in the University of Leeds’ School of Mechanical Engineering, is a prestigious €18.3 million budget project receiving €13.3 million contribution in EU funding via the Framework 7 programme to help in the development of more effective artificial joint replacements. 

Joint replacements represent a medical market exceeding £10 billion a year that is expected to rise with an increasingly ageing population. Rebecca got to see for herself how the process works and how the EU funding has helped both the research and the region.

Commenting after the visit, Rebecca said, “It was great to be able to see for myself how EU funding is making a real difference on the ground.  This is vital research bringing real benefits, both for the individuals who get better quality joint replacements, but also for the region, which gets vital investment in high skill jobs"

Rebecca met Professor Anne Neville and the team from the LifeLongJoints project at the University of Leeds. Professor Neville, Professor of Tribology & Surface Engineering in the University’s School of Mechanical Engineering, said,"The objective of the project is to develop new coatings for joint replacements that will dramatically improve their longevity and reliability. We are looking at all of the stages where these implants currently fail and identifying ways of alleviating the effects of wear debris that can cause biological reactions in patients. The LifeLongJoints project is aiming to improve the quality of life for patients by avoiding implant failures and the need for revision operations. We would not be able to put together such an ambitious project without the support of European funding"

Welcoming the latest proposed investment Rebecca added, “We should be proud of the fact that British universities and research centres take part in more EU-funded research projects than any other country in Europe. As a result of our EU membership, the UK will now see a £60 billion package that will ensure the UK remains at the vanguard of developing the pioneering technologies of the future. This will see breakthroughs in areas as diverse as discovering cures to deadly diseases and developing new forms of low-cost, sustainable transport and energy.”

Under the new programme, €24.3 billion has been allocated to research, €17 billion for industrial innovation and €31 billion to help address major challenges such as making renewable energy more affordable, developing sustainable transport and mobility and coping with the challenge of an ageing population. Lib Dems were successful in ensuring future EU research and innovation funding will be far more easily available to Small to Medium size Enterprises. 

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