2020 has been a tough year for us all, but it’s important to remember the good things too. Here’s 20 positive NTU stories from 2020.
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1. COVID-19 testing machines supplied
We worked with the University of Nottingham to supply machines that helped with national testing efforts. This support was acknowledged in a Downing Street briefing. The machines have a total value of £1 million and can together perform an estimated 20,000 tests a day.
2. New healthcare courses launched
We began to educate the next generation of nurses and paramedics with the launch of our Adult and Mental Health Nursing and Paramedic degrees and apprenticeships. The nursing programmes will give students the clinical, leadership and caring skills needed to enter the profession as a Registered Nurse and are part of an expanding range of healthcare courses at NTU, which includes the recent launch of BSc (Hons) Paramedic Science and MSc Paramedic Science degrees.
3. Food donations for the homeless
We donated produce from our vertical farm to help feed the homeless. Boxes of pak choi, spinach, swiss chard, lettuce, coriander and basil were given to Tracy’s Street Kitchen; a small team of chefs who make and distribute food to people living on the streets in Nottingham.
4. The Nottingham Civic Agreement
We came together with the University of Nottingham, the city and county’s local authorities, hospitals and Local Enterprise Partnerships to launch the Universities for Nottingham Civic Agreement – the first of its kind in the country. The first Civic Agreement, which announced more than a dozen initiatives, harnesses the collective will of the city and county’s biggest institutions to deliver meaningful change for the people and place of Nottingham and Nottinghamshire.
5. PPE printing
Academics across NTU produced vital face shield components using 3D-printing, supporting the UK’s need for personal protective equipment (PPE) during the coronavirus crisis. The university was involved in three separate projects to produce components which when fully assembled are suitable for use within health and social care settings.
6. COVID-19 vaccine development
Scientists at NTU and the University of Nottingham are contributing essential virology expertise to help develop a COVID-19 vaccine. Experts from both universities are assisting Scancell Holdings plc, a developer of novel immunotherapies for cancer treatment, to adapt its existing cancer vaccine platform for the development of a new vaccine.
7. Quarantine volunteering
Nottingham Business School international student Hai Dinh Ngo volunteered in a quarantine facility to assist international arrivals in his home country of Vietnam. Using his language ability and interpersonal skills, he translated for visitors from around 13 different countries.
8. Stylish scrubs
Fashion students turned their skills to making scrubs alongside their online learning to help frontline NHS workers.
9. Supporting the vulnerable
Students gave back by working in care homes, including MSc Management and Business Analytics student Dishant Chavan, who applied after seeing how the crisis was affecting the most vulnerable in society.
10. Virtual legal advice
Nottinghamshire residents benefited from virtual legal advice during lockdown thanks to students from Nottingham Law School. The students made themselves available to the Nottinghamshire community by setting up virtual conferences with clients, meeting with their peers and supervisors online, and writing up their research and case work from home.
11. Food deliveries
Our students delivered food and other essentials to those who are self-isolating or in need.
12. Asymptomatic testing
We provided asymptomatic COVID-19 testing in collaboration with the University of Nottingham.
We launched the WRAP programme looking to celebrate creative writing and reading, with the help of award-winning author Derek Owusu. The programme is an extra-curricular project between NTU, our students, staff, Nottingham UNESCO City of Literature and established authors. It provides online writing workshops and book groups, meet-ups, masterclasses and talks from readers and authors.
14. Record Clearing campaign
We received a record number of calls during Clearing delivering a successful COVID-secure campaign with amazing support from colleagues from across the University.
15. Breeding rare species
Our rare-breed Suffolk Punch horse ‘Ruby’ gave birth to a filly foal after an innovative approach using sex sorted sperm. It was the first time in the world the technique had been used to support the survival of rare breeds.
16. Helping hedgehogs
We’re carrying out important research on the impact of traffic on UK hedgehogs, and examining the effectiveness of measures designed to reduce roadkill numbers and avoid population isolation.
17. Improving detection of prostate cancer
We helped develop a new blood test which can detect the presence of prostate cancer – and its clinical risk. A team at Nottingham Trent University and University Hospitals Leicester NHS Trust is involved in the work, which they say could reduce invasive biopsies by about 70% as well as helping to identify patients in need of urgent treatment or closer monitoring.
18. Bringing people together
We are collaborating on a project to develop new technologies which will seek to tackle loneliness among older people who are socially distanced due to COVID-19. The aim is to develop an app and platform that helps users share their experiences with their supporters in a secure and private environment.
19. Real-time research
Nottingham Business School led on a major new study looking at the impact of COVID-19 on the voluntary sector and social enterprises. Researchers are closely engaging with organisations to provide real-time information to policymakers and practitioners on the consequences of the coronavirus pandemic to different areas of the sector.
20. Bee studies
We translated honeybee queen duets using highly sensitive vibration detectors. We found that queen bees ‘toot’ loudly in the hive to inform the worker bees that they have a fertile and mobile queen, and that they must protect her from her rivals.