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UCL set to leave Suffolk research park

15:30 23 February 2009

A HIGHER education institute is set to move from a world-renowned Suffolk research park, it has emerged.

A HIGHER education institute is set to move from a world-renowned Suffolk research park, it has emerged.

University College London (UCL) wants to relocate its BT Adastral Park postgraduate campus in Martlesham Heath, back to the capital.

Under the plans - which are subject to a 30 day consultation - five employees could be made redundant while from June nine academic staff would move to London.

The UCL partnership at Adastral Park has seen cutting edge research take place in the fields of computer science and electronic engineering since the campus opened in 2001.

There are currently 27 PHD and MSC students under UCL accreditation and over the years the centre has seen pioneering research, including new advancements in digital water marking to clamp down on pirate DVDs and secure communications for money transmission.

Professor Ingemar Cox, director of UCL's Adastral Park campus, said the decision to look at pulling out had come as a result of BT expanding its research remit.

“The relationship with BT is changing,” he said. “We have been on the park since 2001 but now BT wants engagement to be broader than the more narrow research we have there.”

Although the UCL research hub would move out of the county he said the institute was still committed to offering training and education from Adastral Park - but much of this might be done through video conferencing from the London Bloomsbury site.

A BT spokesman said they wanted to expand beyond the information security focus currently offered at Adastral Park to other research disciplines including social sciences, law and economics.

“Therefore, we are restructuring our relationship with UCL through reciprocal embedding of staff in BT and UCL research teams, as an alternative to the co-location of a single team.”

Are you affected by the changes at Adastral Park? Write to Your Letters, Evening Star, 30 Lower Brook Street, Ipswich IP4 1AN or e-mail eveningstarletters@eveningstar.co.uk.

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