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Quadram Institute reaches major construction landmark

Copyright: Quadram Institute
News from: The Institute of Food Research

The construction of the Quadram Institute, Norwich Research Park’s state-of-the-art new centre for food and health research, reached a significant stage this week (Thursday 2 March) with the final cement pouring.

George Freeman MP, chair of the Prime Minister’s Policy Board and former UK Minister for Life Sciences, led a ceremony to make the occasion, which was also attended by representatives of Quadram Institute’s four partners, the University of East Anglia (UEA), the Institute of Food Research (IFR), the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC).

The Quadram Institute, which is being built by Wates Construction, is on target to open in mid-2018, when it will house 300 scientists and 100 clinicians, integrating research teams from UEA’s Faculty of Science and Norwich Medical School, the IFR and the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital’s gastrointestinal endoscopy department to create one of Europe’s largest centres of its kind.

“Combining this level of expertise under one roof will bring about a new level of collaboration to achieve our collective mission to develop solutions to worldwide challenges in human health, food and disease,” said Professor Ian Charles, Director of the IFR, who will lead the Quadram Institute. “We are developing a world-leading facility for research across our four themes of the gut, healthy aging, food innovation and food safety.”

These themes link closely with the world-class plant and crop research undertaken at the John Innes Centre and bioinformatics at the Earlham Institute, both also on Norwich Research Park, creating a unique set of resources to deliver new foods, treatments and health and lifestyle interventions.

Copyright: Quadram Institute
Ian Charles and George Freeman. Copyright: Quadram Institute

The Quadram Institute will also house a new regional endoscopy centre which, as well as undertaking research and teaching on gastrointestinal health, will carry out around 40,000 procedures a year. Mark Davies, NNUH Chief Executive, said: "As a University Teaching Hospital, NNUH has a very active research programme. Working with our Norwich Research Park partners, we are now another step closer to making the Quadram Institute and its future opportunities for life-saving research, a reality. It also provides our patients with a new state-of-the-art endoscopy unit, which will be the biggest in the UK.”

“This pioneering building will enable researchers from many disciplines to work with clinicians, heralding a new era of food and health science,” said Prof David Richardson, UEA’s Vice-Chancellor. “By studying the links between gut microbes and health, we will define what constitutes a healthy gut and how the microbes present affect our health. Ultimately, this research will help us to enhance human health, reducing the burden on healthcare provision both in the UK and globally.”

As part of its mission to develop solutions to worldwide challenges in human health, food and disease, researchers and clinicians will work closely with the food industry, healthcare providers and allied sectors to put the knowledge gained into practical use.

“The UK is a world-leading pioneer in bioscience research and, with the construction of the Quadram Institute, we continue to raise the bar in research excellence,” said Prof Melanie Welham, Chief Executive, BBSRC. “The Quadram Institute will provide a platform for scientists to develop integrated food, diet and health research for both the benefit of society and the bioeconomy.”


Notes to editors

For more information or to arrange interviews or photographs, please contact the UEA Press Office (see external contacts below).

About University of East Anglia

The University of East Anglia (UEA) is a UK top 15 university and ranks in the top 1% of universities in the world. Known for its world-leading research and outstanding student experience, it has achieved a top 10 rating in the National Student Survey every year since the survey began. UEA is a leading member of the Norwich Research Park – one of Europe’s biggest concentrations of researchers in the fields of environment, health and plant science.

About the Quadram Institute

The Quadram Institute is a new international centre for food and health research to be located on the Norwich Research Park. Under one roof, the Quadram Institute will bring together research teams from Institute of Food Research (IFR) and the University of East Anglia (UEA) with the Norfolk and Norwich University Hospital (NNUH) gastrointestinal endoscopy centre.

It will seek to provide a step-change in interdisciplinary food and health research and accelerate the development of innovative foods and treatments to address diet-related conditions. It will be home to at least 300 researchers and a further 100 clinicians and endoscopy related staff.

The research element of the Quadram Institute will be formally launched before the building is complete and the current IFR will transform into the new entity on 28 April 28 2017.


BBSRC invests in world-class bioscience research and training on behalf of the UK public. Our aim is to further scientific knowledge, to promote economic growth, wealth and job creation and to improve quality of life in the UK and beyond.

Funded by government, BBSRC invested £473 million in world-class bioscience, people and research infrastructure in 2015-16. We support research and training in universities and strategically funded institutes. BBSRC research and the people we fund are helping society to meet major challenges, including food security, green energy and healthier, longer lives. Our investments underpin important UK economic sectors, such as farming, food, industrial biotechnology and pharmaceuticals.

More information about BBSRC, our science and our impact.
More information about BBSRC strategically funded institutes.

External contact

Clare Parry, Press Office, University of East Anglia

+44 1603 591205


UK Research and Innovation Media Office

Tags: Institute of Food Research University of East Anglia food microbes research facilities research technologies press release