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Durham University

Research & business

UK Government minister praises inspiring research and innovation at Durham

(24 January 2020)

Universities Minister Chris Skidmore Visits Durham University

Our researchers are tackling some of the biggest challenges facing the world today, from improving soil health in Africa to working to prevent natural disasters in Southern Asia. So it was great to be able to show Chris Skidmore, the UK Government’s Universities Minister, some examples of our research and innovation in action.

Research and innovation in action

Mr Skidmore visited Durham on Friday 24 January, when he learned more about:

  • The TechUp programme that we’re part of, which offers women the chance to retrain for work in the technology sector;
  • How we’re contributing to the development of computer-driven cars; and
  • Some of the technology we’re trialling to enhance students’ learning experience. 

Inspiring technology and opportunities

One TechUp participant told Mr Skidmore how the programme is equipping women in the Midlands and North of England to do their jobs better, find new opportunities and start new businesses.

The Minister learned how we’re developing better algorithms to help autonomous vehicles better understand where they are and what's around them, paving the way for cars to be driven by on-board computers in the near future.

And he tried out a virtual reality headset, which allows teaching across multiple locations, and our Learning Glass, an innovative new tool that allows teachers and students to write notes or do equations while still engaged with their class face-to-face.

Research and development across the UK

In a speech to staff, students and business and public sector leaders, Mr Skidmore said how important research and development is to all parts of the UK.

We were pleased to welcome him for the visit and to receive his support, and we’re excited to be working with him and the rest of the UK Government to continue to build on the ways we’re innovating here at Durham, for the benefit us all.

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