The Blue Zone Consortium

Lead Research Organisation: Nottingham Trent University
Department Name: School of Science & Technology


By 2040, nearly one in seven people in the UK is projected to be aged over 75, many living with multiple morbidities. By contrast, Blue Zones are areas across the world with lower rates of chronic disease, where people live longer healthier lives. This consortium will support researchers to transcend traditional disciplinary boundaries and collaborate across sectors to formulate and implement viable solutions that take frontier bioscience to blue zone outcomes.

The aim of our new Blue Zone Consortium FTMA is to promote cross-sectoral collaboration, increase co-creation of research and clarity of ideas and technologies through the transfer of people.

Our objectives will upskill researchers and technical professionals right from early career stages by exposure to new ways of thinking and environments, we will:

disseminate funding via competitions to support exchange and mobilisation
deliver multi-level entrepreneurial and transdisciplinary skills training programmes
create networking events that promote collaboration and knowledge exchange
Equality, diversity and inclusion are at the heart of this consortium: from early career academics driving inception of this proposal supported by a partner institution professoriate to our focus on ECR and technical professional training, opportunities, and representation at all levels. Our EDI policy ensures equity of opportunity for underrepresented groups, and makes our consortium smarter, more innovative and more socially aware.

Our governance board, chaired by Professor Richard Emes, will oversee the development of policies and processes, approve resource allocation and monitor progress. The executive team will ensure operational delivery of the FTMA, communicating with members, handling funding applications, and ensuring compliance with our EDI policy. To safeguard the robustness of our decision making process, funding applications will be assessed by =2 independent experts from appropriate sectors, followed by panel review prior to award.

Our proposal aligns with the UKRI priority area: securing better health, ageing, and wellbeing. We will support bioscience research related to the three transversal themes of this consortium: metabolic health; health and ageing across the life course; and transformative technologies to tackle health inequalities.

Partner universities: Nottingham Trent University, University of Leicester, and Northumbria University each bring a rich network of cross-sector collaborators that will work synergistically to create transdisciplinary projects.

The University of Leicester brings expertise in multidisciplinary and international translational science that support consortium global ambitions, including significant links with regional NHS Trusts, and research centres including the BHF Cardiovascular Research Centre, Diabetes Research Centre, Centre for Ethnic Health Research, and NIHR East Midlands Applied Research Collaboration. These networks will support consortium research in metabolic health and compliment strengths at Nottingham Trent University's Centre for Systems Health and Integrated Metabolic Research and Medical Technologies Innovation Facility, a pioneering dual-site research and development facility, that provides a bridge between academia and industry, to enable the acceleration of innovative medical technologies. Northumbria University, who focus on healthy ageing from a variety of cellular, hormonal, muscular, practical and interventional aspects have a track record of supporting graduates in enterprise, exemplified by their work with ART Health Solutions, which has now attracted almost £1M investment from KTP and venture funds.

The critical mass of complimentary research across our consortium and reach to over 500 companies, six NHS Trusts and wider care settings makes us ideally placed to support researchers on their journey to jump the canyon from fundamental bioscience research into end user benefit.


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