MedCity's Eliot Forster and Mayor of London Boris Johnson have welcomed the news that research by UK universities is leading the world, following the publication of the Research Excellence Framework results
The REF exercise assesses the quality of research conducted by UK universities across all disciplines, through a series of peer reviewed panels made up of UK and international experts.
According to REF14, 30% of UK research is assessed as world-leading (4*), and a further 46% is internationally excellent (3*).
Golden triangle universities dominate the rankings, with the Institute of Cancer Research, Imperial College London, London School of Economics, University of Oxford, University of Cambridge, King’s College London, University College London and London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine all in the top 10 institutions when ranked by grade point average.
Welcoming the results, the Mayor, who launched MedCity in April 2014 drive innovation in the life sciences sector of London and the south east, said:
“These results prove that London is home to some of the best and most exciting research institutions in the world – creative powerhouses that are tackling major global challenges at home and abroad. London already has a vibrant life sciences cluster and through my MedCity initiative we want to use our incredible academic prowess to spur the discovery of new treatments and propel the sector so it becomes a key contributor to the capital’s growth and health.”
Dr Eliot Forster, Executive Chair of MedCity, said:
“These results confirm the enormous quality and diversity of life sciences research in this region, and highlight again the great wealth of opportunity here for entrepreneurs, industry and investors. Within a relatively small MedCity geographical space we have world-leading experts, cutting edge facilities, a great appetite for translation and commercialisation, and an open door to business and industry. That is creating new companies and attracting global players to set up bases here, producing a virtuous circle of innovation that is hard to beat.”
Highlights of research submitted to the REF by London universities includes research at Imperial College London on the role of white blood cells in allergies, now spun out into the £600m company Circassia which is developing drugs to tackle the underlying cause of allergies rather than their symptoms.
The preeminence of London’s universities was reaffirmed in September this year when the QS World University rankings named Imperial College London the second best university in the world, joint with Cambridge, while University College London and Oxford took joint fifth. Overall 18 London universities made the rankings, making it the city with the highest number of top rated universities in the world.