Amnis Bought Out by Division of Merck

EMD Millipore, the life sciences arm of pharmaceutical company Merck, has purchased cell imaging instrument manufacturer Amnis Corporation, reports inpharm.com.

Jonathan DiVincenzo, head of life sciences at EMD, has said that the deal improves the company’s flow cytometry range and will create “tremendous value for our customers’ research outcomes.” Amnis’ products are used in flow cytometry applications across various fields including biotech and pharmaceutical cell analysis.

DiVincenzo went on to add that “with this acquisition, EMD Millipore becomes the only provider of this technology.” David Basiji, Amnis chief executive, believes becoming park of Merck will “accelerate product development”for his company. The deal is expected to go through in the final quarter of this year.

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Google Chairman Criticises UK Science Sector

Eweekeurope.co.uk has reported that Google chairman Eric Schmidt believes the UK to be throwing away its science and technology heritage.

Schmidt criticised the lack of effort put into trying to ignite young people’s passion for science, particularly IT, which is not compulsory past fourteen. The IT courses available at GCSE level were also criticised for teaching how to use, not how to create software. Schmidt believes the answer is to recombine art and science, as was the norm in the Victorian era. Authors such as Lewis Carroll are cited as examples; he taught maths at Cambridge whilst writing Alice’s Adventures in Wonderland.

The Google chairman went on to add that the separation of science and humanities, and the lack of championing of the science subjects in schools, is hurting the amount of students applying for undergraduate courses in science at university. Furthermore, though the UK sees a lot of small start-ups, most end up selling to large multi-national companies, something Schmidt says needs to change in order for Britain to re-emerge as a potential scientific leader

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BP Struggle to Fill Roles

Oil and gas company BP are struggling to find skilled engineers to expand their North Sea operations, reports the BBC.

The growth of the North Sea oil and gas fields, expected to create hundreds of jobs, seems to have stagnated as Trevor Garlick, head of BP’s North Sea operations, said the company cannot find the correct people to fill the roles. He adds that “getting hold of the right people is a real issue for us.”

BP views the North Sea as a ‘training ground’ where the most capable employees are developed before being moved overseas. Mr Garlick says that whilst “we are hiring a lot of people, but we are also an exporter of a couple of hundred people to other regions.” It is believed that the oil and gas industry is expected to create over 15,000 jobs in the next five years, though companies complain of the same problem as BP – being able to find qualified staff to fill positions.

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Oxfordshire to Generate 8,000 Bioscience Jobs

More than 8,000 new science jobs are to be created in Oxfordshire thanks to the governments news enterprise scheme, reports the BBC.

The Science Vale UK region of Oxfordshire is to benefit following a successful application by the Local Enterprise Partnership, which envisages 200,000 square metres of development for 8,400 high tech jobs by 2015. The development will consist of two of the UK’s biggest science research facilities, aiming to make Oxford and the UK globally competitive. New firms will gain from a £1 billion of business rate discounts and simplified planning procedures.

The jobs created are expected to be mainly in the biotechnology sector, a much needed boost for a seemingly stagnated area. The number of drug discovery and development companies in Oxfordshire has not risen since 2007, though both funding and products in the pipelines of said companies have increase dramatically. The enterprise zone will therefore continue to benefit the bioscience industry in Oxfordshire.

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1,500 Energy Jobs to be Created in Scotland

The BBC has reported that over the next ten years 1,500 jobs could be created in the energy industry in Scotland.

Scottish Power’s recruitment announcement is reported at a time when the employment statistics continue to be a worry. The jobs are needed to complete an upgrade of the power grid in line with the government’s renewable energy targets. The investment into the power grid and an “aging workforce” mean new staff are needed.

£3 billion is expected o be spent over the next ten years in order to improve over 500 miles of power lines, giving three times more capacity to carry power through the grid. Graduate engineers, apprentices and technicians are expected to be the people targeted for the new jobs. Scottish Power’s announcement, it is hoped, will help in reducing the unemployed across Scotland.

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30 Jobs to be Created – Lancashire Recycling Plant

A waste recycling plant is set to be opened in Darwen, Lancashire, pending approval by the council, reports the BBC.

SITA UK, who are developing the £5 million site believe the project will create up to 30 jobs at a site on Lower Eccleshill Road. The Materials Recycling Facility is designed to sort 35,000 tonnes of material annually, including plastic, cans, card and paper from Lancashire commercial businesses, rather than household waste.

The plans for the site are expected to be sent to the Council by the end of August in order to develop the facility as soon as possible. The facility will allow for materials to be unloaded, sorted and bailed within the site, excluding glass, which will have to be sorted outside in a specially designed area.

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Lincolnshire Food Research Centre to Create Jobs

Thisislincolnshire.co.uk has reported that a new research centre for food production could be built in the county and make the area a world renowned centre of excellence.

Plans are to be put forward in October and funding will be received from the Regional Growth Fund. University of Lincoln director Andrew Stevenson says that the centre “will attract world experts.” He added that the research centre will “help… producers become more efficient.” The centre is intended to take on students applying for undergraduate and post-graduate degrees as well as researchers and staff in current Lincolnshire businesses.

The centre will costs between £7 million and £10 million, and is expected to create 70 jobs directly, and over 200 jobs in the area. Chief executive of the Lincolnshire Agricultural Society, Mark Farmer, said that the plans “will put Lincolnshire on the map as a world-leader in a very important research sector.”

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Pfizer’s Kent Closure Could Take Ten Years

The BBC has reported that pharmaceutical company Pfizer’s closure of its Sandwich site, in Kent, could take up to ten years to recover, according to a local councillor.

Over 2,000 jobs are to be lost at the site, and the leader of Kent County Council, Paul Carter, has said that despite there being interest in the site, it will take a long time for a complete recovery. Mr Carter added that it was “a big ask” for a pharmaceutical company to create 2,000 to 3,000 jobs in such a short space of time. He said that should 1,000 jobs be created in 18 months it will have been a good start.

John Westwood, real estate developer at Pfizer, has said that despite there not being “a huge number of organisations or individuals” who could take on the site, there has still been significant interest. A group of politicians has put forward proposals for the centre to be turned into an enterprise zone, which would assist growth.

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QinetiQ Sells Fuel Business to Intertek

The QinetiQ Group, based in Farnborough, is selling off its fuel and lubricants business for £500,000, reports insidermedia.com.

The Intertek Group is to take over the UK Fuel and Lubricants Testing Business (OALTB), which QinetiQ has sold in order to concentrate on their core services, including aerospace and security. Intertek is going to bring the fuel business into the pharmaceutical and chemical division of their operations.

This is the third recent acquisition by Intertek, who have also purchased Stoke based Food Analytical Laboratories Limited (FAL) and Rechere Developpement and Consulting (RDC), based in Brussels. Wolfhart Hauser, CEO of Intertek, has said the purchases “demonstrate Intertek’s progress in its strategy to add new expertise and capabilities across the supply chain.” He later commented that the firm is looking forward “to welcoming these companies and their management teams to Intertek.”

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North West Biomedical Firms Receive Investment

Two biomedical companies, Alchemy Healthcare and Future Medical Technologies, are to each receive £50,000 from the North West Fund for Biomedical, reports pharmatimes.com.

The North West Fund is run by venture capital firm SPARK Impact and supplies debt and equity funding to small and medium sized businesses in the North West of England. Alchemy Healthcare has developed a nasal device for administering treatments in order to avoid injections. The investment they will receive will be used to “complete various elements of tooling and a modest clinical trial,” said Ian Harrison, the firm’s founder. They also hope to receive the results soon and receive further investment.

Future Medical Technologies has developed a polymer to mimic cartilage that is used to help arthritis, improving patient care. The investment will be used to speed development of the product and gain further regulatory approval. Dr Yousef Taktak has called the investment a “great opportunity.”

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EU Research Budget Increase Good News For UK

Timeshighereducation.com has reported a 23% increase in the EU’s research budget, meaning that €1.6 billion is available for frontier research.

Overall funding for the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme has risen to €7 billion (£6.4 billion), the European Research Council (ERC) being the main benefactor, with the increase in their budget. Jerzy Langer, professor at the Polish Academy of Sciences, believes the UK are the main winners in investment, but praises politicians for listening to scientists and granting money without guaranteed returns.

Richard Jones, pro vice-chancellor of research and development at Sheffield University, believes this “is good news for us in an environment in which our own research councils’ funding is being squeezed.” Despite the funding having no real guarantees the ERC funding has traditionally led to good results; such as the winner of the Nobel Prize for Physics in 2010, Konstantin Novoselov of the University of Manchester, being able to conduct his research thanks to an ERC grant. Around €80 billion in GDP growth and 450,000 jobs are expected to be created in the next 15 years thanks to the increased funds.

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Cornwall Science Park to Create 750 Jobs

Goonhilly space facility, Cornwall, is being turned into a science park with the aim to create 750 jobs, reports thisiscornwall.co.uk.

GES Ltd, who own the site, applied for a £7 million grant to accelerate the proposals, claiming businesses such as QinetiQ are interested in involving themselves with the site. The UK Space Agency is also said to be interested in the site’s development. The site will have links to various universities, allowing them access to the facilities which will “provide an environment for collaboration between industry and academia.”

The site is expected to become a scientific, technological and engineering hub, with opportunities for businesses in those sectors being put forward alongside the application for the government grant. GES’ Ian Jones has said with the funding, “we can accelerate this opportunity and create high volumes of high-tech jobs, which will have significant knock on benefits for Cornwall.”

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GSK to Profit From Sale of Non-Core Assets

At least three private equity firms are planning a bid for GSK non-prescription drugs, reports Reuters.

The products being bid for include over the counter painkillers and vitamin supplements. These sales are the product of GSK’s reduction of non-core products announced in February, representing 10% of the consumer healthcare business. Bids for the products are expected on 8th August, but will be negotiable. CEO Andrew Witty expects the deals to close in the fourth quarter of 2011 before adding that GSK will be looking for the best deal for shareholders to benefit.

Rival companies are unlikely to bid for all the products GSK is looking to offload, worth a maximum of around £2 billion. However because the products will not be sold as a single body, analysts believe that GSK will not be able to make that amount. The lack of coherence in the products on sale, other than, as one analyst says “stuff that GSK doesn’t want,” also means it will be difficult to sell the portfolio for such an amount in one go.

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Shell Profits Allow For New Projects

The BBC has reported that oil and gas giant Shell recorded a 77% rise in profits in the second quarter of 2011.

The $8 billion profit is roughly double that of the same period in 2010, with the company attributing this to sales of assets in the first half of the year, amounting to $4 billion.

The sales were said to be a “key driver” in the reduction of costs and improvement of operating performance throughout the business. Shell has disclosed that production is down in the second quarter, though it also said that three large scale projects are beginning, increasing European imports and hopefully creating jobs. Chief Executive Peter Voser says that the “new projects should drive [Shell’s] financial performance in the coming quarters.”

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CK ScienceJobs App For iPhone!

CK Science has recently launched a ScienceJobs app for the iPhone!

The free app takes the hassle out of your search for a job in the scientific industry. By downloading our iPhone app, you can search for a new job anytime, anywhere.

– Jobs updated in real time and are found across sectors including pharmaceutical, biotechnology, chemical, oil and gas, food, environmental and waste.

– Jobs from across the UK, with locations in the job description. Find a job near you which suits your requirements.

– A shortlist feature is included, in which you can list jobs you’re interested in and more effectively decide which jobs you want to apply to.

– Regular updates of the latest industry news and careers advice to help with interview technique and keep you up to date with the latest events.

– Easily and quickly contact our team of dedicated recruitment consultants.

We are the UK’s largest scientific recruitment agency; with access to all the latest scientific jobs and opportunities, so why not download the free iPhone app today and find your new science job!

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GSK in Job and Tax Pledge

GlaxoSmithKline is set to create more UK jobs and pay more tax, helping the economy, reports the Guardian.

As CK Science has earlier reported, here, GSK is set to expand its UK operations, adding to the current 16,000 employees throughout Britain. Two sites in Scotland and one in county Durham are being looked into as locations to create new plants. This comes at a time when other companies with UK branches are scaling back their operations. Andrew Witty, GSK’s chief executive, has said that his company wants to “have more manufacturing and do more R&D work in Britain” leading to a greater amount of tax paid by GSK.

In the next few years, GSK expects to be a “net hirer” because the UK can strike a good balance between research and development support and competitive medicine prices. GSK has moved back into the black this year, recording a £1.1 billion profit in the second quarter, meaning that they can afford the expense of reopening UK operations.

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Benfits Merger Worry For Pharma Companies

Two pharmacy benefits companies are set to merge in a multi-billion dollar deal, reports fiercepharma.com.

Pharmaceutical companies are beginning to worry that due to the proposed $29 billion deal that will see Express Scripts buy Medco Health Solutions, drug prices could decrease, affecting the pharamceutical compnies profits. Most who have commented on the deal, including Eli Lilly’s CFO Dernica Rice, have played down the impact the buy-out will have, with Rice saying Lilly could maintain its negotiation power through their products advantage over the generic drugs on the market.

However, Michael Luby, of BioPharma Alliance, believes the merger will mean the combined company would have “extraordinary purchasing power… [and] leverage [over] pharmaceutical companies.” Price cuts in Europe; particularly Germany and Spain, have been causing pharmaceutical companies problems, and having staved off effort from the US government over pricing, the big companies are now going to have to attempt to stop the private sector submitting the pharmaceutical sector to the same pricing measures.

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BP to Invest in North Sea Oil Fields

BP are to redevelop their North Sea oil fields, securing and creating jobs in the process, reports the Guardian.

 This is despite the Chancellor’s announcement of a £2 billion levy on North Sea oil and gas, to ease petrol prices, threatening the £12 billion investment and the expected creation of 15,000 jobs. Bob Dudley, BP’s chief executive, has said that the investment is due to the “extensive knowledge” BP has of the North Sea due to over “forty years experience.”

The Treasury has claimed that BP’s decision shows that the North Sea is an “attractive area for new levels of investment.” Despite a drop in offshore drilling of 52% in the second quarter, for a variety of reasons including the government’s budget, the investment is set to go ahead, keeping the offshore platforms running until 2035 at least.

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Nominate CK Science in the NORA's 2011!

Nominate CK Science for the National Online Recruitment Awards (NORA’s) 2011!

 Nominations are currently being received for the awards, a prestigious honour created to recognise and reward excellence in the recruitment industry.

 This is something we always strive for; we go to great lengths in order to help those in the science industry to find a job, particularly with our website, catered towards the internet savvy candidate of today. We have daily updates of all the latest jobs, industry updates and weekly video content, as well as expanding our presence on social networking sites, meaning that we can have constant communication and feedback from you, the candidate.

 If you believe CK Science deserves to be recognised at the NORA’s; click here or the banner above, it will be greatly appreciated!

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Norwich Research Park to Create 5,000 Jobs

Business Secretary Vince Cable has opened the Norwich Research Park, set to create 5,000 jobs, reports EDP24.com.

Mr Cable praised the park, calling it “world beating” and “ambitious” as he opened the facility equipped with office space and laboratories. The area the park has been built in is one with a high concentration of food and environmental science businesses, and the project is expected to create around 5,000 jobs over the next fifteen years.

Mr Cable reaffirmed the government’s commitment to the science industry by agreeing to a £26 million investment into the Norwich Research Park, as business plans have been submitted to the government. The park is expected to create the jobs by expanding thanks to the investment.

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