The Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) and the UK
Health Departments have signed a concordat to formally recognise and explore
the potential for collaboration in technological areas of common interest.
The Concordat, signed by Professor Ian Halliday, Chief Executive of PPARC
and Professor Sir John Pattison, Director of Research, Analysis and
Information at the Department of Health this week, provides a framework for
developing a closer working relationship between the organisations in order
to promote innovation in areas of strategic importance.

There is a strong history of technologies developed in the ‘big physics’
research arena being transferred to clinical practice. In particular,
Magnetic Resonance Imaging (MRI) and Positron Emission Tomography (PET) are
clear examples of technologies developed by particle physics now in common
usage in hospitals around the world. Other areas of common interest include
imaging, sensors and detectors, nanotechnology, grid/info technology,
optics, microscopy techniques, bioinformatics and instrumentation for life

Commenting on the importance of the Concordat Professor Ian Halliday, Chief
Executive, PPARC said: “Over the past year we have developed a growing
portfolio of activity to promote the transfer of PPARC technologies to the
health sector. Many existing technologies have their roots in high-energy
physics or astronomy techniques for example, MRI magnets and X-Ray CCD’s. By
developing further our relationship with the Health Departments we can
assist in providing a link between the development of such technology and
the transfer of its use to the health sector where the benefits can be felt
by everyone.”

Professor Sir John Pattison, DoH said:

“We greatly welcome this Concordat. Almost certainly basic work in particle
physics and astronomy of relevance to health services will already be taking
place. The Concordat will helps us identify such work and develop its

Notes to Editors

1. Other signatories to the Concordat are:

Professor Roland Jung, Chief Scientist, Scottish Executive Health

Professor John G. Williams, Director, Wales Office of Research &
Development, The National Assembly for Wales

Professor Robert W. Stout, Director, R&D Office for Health and Personal
Social Services Northern Ireland

2. PPARC also has concordats with DTI and MoD.

For more information about PPARC:

Gill Ormrod, PPARC Press Office

Tel: 01793 442012. Email:

For more information about the collaborative schemes that PPARC provide

please contact:

Susan Lansdowne – Business and Partnerships Liaison Manager

Tel: 01793 442056. Email:

For more information about the Department of Health:

Darren Aldrich, DoH Media Centre

Tel: 020 7210 5226

The Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) is the UK’s
strategic science investment agency. It funds research, education and public
understanding in four broad areas of science – particle physics, astronomy,
cosmology and space science.

PPARC is government funded and provides research grants and studentships to
scientists in British universities, gives researchers access to world-class
facilities and funds the UK membership of international bodies such as the
European Laboratory for Particle Physics, CERN, and the European Space
Agency. It also contributes money for the UK telescopes overseas on La
Palma, Hawaii, Australia and in Chile, the UK Astronomy Technology Centre at
the Royal Observatory, Edinburgh and the MERLIN/VLBI National Facility.

PPARC’s Public Understanding of Science and Technology Awards Scheme
provides funding to both small local projects and national initiatives aimed
at improving public understanding of its areas of science.