The University of Ulster, the largest university on the island of Ireland, aims to be an outstanding regional university with a national and international reputation that contributes to the advancement of Northern Ireland as a region, in a national and international context. It is a major contributor to R&D capacity in Northern Ireland. Technology and knowledge transfer are promoted through initiatives that include the establishment of state-of the-art research facilities such as the Northern Ireland Centre for Food and Health (NICHE) in the School of Biomedical Sciences. NICHE was set up in 1996 to research relationships between food and disease processes, and to provide research capability to regional, national and international companies. NICHE maintains extensive research collaborations with local, national, and international centres of excellence, through EU programmes and other initiatives. Largely housed in the new, £14.3 million Centre for Molecular Biosciences (CMB). The CMB also has a metabolic suite and residential facilities for human studies. With colleagues, NICHE was awarded the top rating (5*) in the 1996 and 2001 UK Universites Research Assessment Exercise (RAE). NICHE has carried out research funded by national and international food and pharmaceutical companies including major players in the cereals sector. NICHE research also has been funded by grants from, among others, National Institutes of Health (US), Food Standards Agency (UK), Food Safety Promotion Board (Ireland, North and South) and the Cancer Research Campaign (UK). NICHE has been involved in many RTD projects in the EU Framework Programmes. These include FOODCUE (FPIV) and PHYTOPREVENT (FPV) co-ordinated by NICHE, and NUTRIFISH (FPIV), FeMMES (FPV), NUHEAL (FPV), CROWNALIFE part of the FPV cluster PROEUHEALTH, SYNCAN (FPV), ZENITH (FPV) and LIPGENE (FPVI). NICHE is part of the Concerted Action NUGO, and is a Marie Curie Training Site (DIETPROMO: Assessment of Dietary Components with Health Promoting Properties).
Last updated on 2006-11-10 by Gertrud Linsberger-Martin