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20 May 2013

RLC-Lab and University join forces to inspire next generation of scientists

RLC-Lab, an analytical and chemistry research company has teamed up with Loughborough University to launch a national initiative to support excellence in science education.  The service will enable state and private schools and colleges teaching A-level and BTEC science the opportunity to access industry-standard chemical analysis services, free of charge.

RLC provides consultancy and contract analytical and chemistry research to the pharmaceutical and fine chemical sectors as well as conducting its own novel research.  Based in Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park, RLC is a keen supporter of science education as its director, Dr Mark Jones, explained:  “Techniques such as chromatography and infra-red spectroscopy are now an integral part of the syllabus, but with limited resources, the best that the majority of schools can hope for is a melting point measurement of their reaction products.  Our service enables students to use the same technology as large pharmaceutical organisations.”

The service is launched this week to 3,000 schools, following a highly successful pilot that was supported by the Royal Society of Chemistry.

Jacquie Hanmer, Robert Smyth Academy, said:  “I cannot emphasise how wonderful it was for students to be able to see real data on their products.  I used it as an example on open day and it generated huge amounts of interest.”

Dr Claire Badger, Haberdashers’ Aske’s School for Girls, said:  “This has been of real benefit to our students … these methods are on the syllabus but to see a method applied to their own samples helps make it more real.”

Loughborough University is supporting the initiative by ensuring that thousands of vials reach the schools and colleges which are then sent to RLC’s laboratories for free analysis.  Students can then see the results of their experiments online.

Professor Steve Rothberg, the University’s Pro Vice Chancellor (Enterprise) said:  “Loughborough University is committed to promotion of STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering and Mathematics) education in schools and is delighted to be supporting this excellent and innovative project.  Our aim is to support RLC in delivering this service to every A-level chemistry class in the country.”

−ENDS−

Notes for editors

Article reference number: PR 13/85

About RLC-Lab
RLC-Lab, a privately held company established in 2006, provides consultancy and contract analytical and chemistry research to the pharmaceutical and fine chemical sectors.  In addition it conducts in-house research into novel peptidomimetic chemistry and bespoke microfluidic devices.  The company is based in the Innovation Centre on Loughborough University Science and Enterprise Park.

About Loughborough University
Loughborough is one of the country’s leading universities, with an international reputation for research that matters, excellence in teaching, strong links with industry, and unrivalled achievement in sport and its underpinning academic disciplines.

It was awarded the coveted Sunday Times University of the Year 2008-09 title, and is consistently ranked in the top twenty of UK universities in national newspaper league tables. In the 2011 National Student Survey, Loughborough was voted one of the top universities in the UK, and has been voted England's Best Student Experience for six years running in the Times Higher Education league. In recognition of its contribution to the sector, the University has been awarded six Queen's Anniversary Prizes.

It is a member of the 1994 Group of 11 leading research-intensive universities. The Group was established in 1994 to promote excellence in university research and teaching. Each member undertakes diverse and high-quality research, while ensuring excellent levels of teaching and student experience.

Contact for all media enquiries

Anna Leather
Marketing Manager (Enterprise)
Loughborough University
T: 01509 223445
E: A.J.Leather@lboro.ac.uk