A TOOL which could make the diagnosis of Tuberculosis more cost-effective and rapid was the main attraction when a senior Government minister visited the Open University last week.
The Secretary of State for International Development, Andrew Mitchell, met scientists working on the tool, known as a mass spectrometer, on Thursday.
The portable device, which was which was initially developed by the team for the Rosetta space mission, is being developed for use in the field in Africa.
Scientists in the Open University’s Centre for Earth, Planetary, Space and Astronomical Research have been working on the project with the London School of Hygiene and Tropical Medicine, Cranfield University, Birmingham University and the Wellcome Trust.
It is part of a wider portfolio of technology transfer activities that the team is engaged in.
Mr Mitchell, who attended the OU with MP for Milton Keynes North Mark Lancaster, was met by vice-chancellor of The Open University, Martin Bean, who gave him an introduction to The Open University.
He was also shown a short film about three ongoing projects; Health Education and Training (HEAT), English in Action (EiA) and Teacher Education in sub-Saharan Africa (TESSA), and met with other Open University personnel.
Mr Bean said: “The Open University’s international programmes touch the lives of millions all over the world, and we are extremely proud of what we do. We were delighted to welcome Andrew Mitchell here, and to exhibit some of our work. We are incredibly excited about the impact we will make in the future, to some of the world’s poorest people, through our strong partnerships with DfID, The William and Flora Hewlett Foundation and other major partners.”
Mr Mitchell added: “Britain is home to some of the world’s greatest innovators and inventors. We are harnessing this creative energy to transform the lives of the world’s poorest people.
“Invention and Innovation are at the heart of everything we do and these world-renowned scientists, researchers and academics help us achieve the best possible results.”