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  • Interview: Prof Janet Beer, University of Liverpool, Janet Beer

Prof Janet Beer: We must avoid ‘unnecessary barriers’ when leaving EU

“Unnecessary barriers” must be avoided to maintain science and research success as Britain exits the European Union, according to the University of Liverpool’s vice-chancellor.

Professor Janet Beer says European funding and the ability to collaborate and work internationally on projects has helped attract experts in the growth sectors to the city.

Speaking to Move Commercial, Professor Beer, who is also chair of Knowledge Quarter Liverpool, says: “The UK punches well above its weight in terms of getting grants from Europe and, of course, we have many European staff from outside of the UK in the university.

“Often one of the reasons they come here is, in doing their work as academics, they can also access European funding for research and most of their projects are collaborative and international.”

She adds: “We know the efficacy of international collaboration is great – there is much more impact attached to projects that have more international collaboration – so we have to find a way of maintaining the collaborative nature of our work.

“Our scientists, social scientists, humanities and academics want to work with the best in their particular area and they could be located anywhere in the world, so we have to make sure that if we’re taking ourselves outside of the European Union we don’t put up any unnecessary barriers or borders.

“As I’m fond of saying, research challenges do not stop at national boundaries. Climate change is global, disease is global, and so the major challenges of our age are literally borderless.”

For more views and insight from Professor Beer, read our interview in the latest issue of Move Commercial.