Professor Sir Alec Broers, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, made this speech following the announcement of the partnership by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown.

Professor Sir Alec Broers, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Cambridge, made this speech following the announcement of the partnership by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown.

Chancellor, we in Cambridge regard this partnership with MIT as an outstanding opportunity to extend the outreach of our University. Your energy and conviction have brought us to this point and I am delighted that we in Cambridge will be working with MIT.

Both Cambridge and MIT are proud to call themselves world class: we know each other well. Our faculty have been working together for as long as we can remember and there is immense mutual respect between our engineers, scientists and social scientists. We are committed in Cambridge to seeking partnerships with world leaders to ensure that we remain in the top rank of the world's universities and this partnership provides a great step forward. It will allow us greatly to advance our aims.

Cambridge continues to earn its international reputation for excellence. We are monitored on the quality of teaching and research, and our staff and students, the core of our institution, are outstanding.

We share with MIT an entrepreneurial culture. Cambridge was the first place in Europe with a Science Park, and today, surrounding the University, there are over 1,200 companies employing some 25,000 people. Our understanding of computing and technology is second to none in this country. Recently the Prime Minister chose to launch the Government's e-commerce report here.

Cambridge economists and graduates have already a profound impact on business and corporate UK. They range from the two young men at a small company Zeus, who helped the Prime Minister in his first Web transaction, to Britain's e-envoy, to Nobel prizewinners for Economics, to a member of the Bank of England's monetary committee. Newsweek and Business week have recently chosen Cambridge as one of the world's hotspots for high tech business development.

The earliest UK home computer businesses were started in Cambridge in the 1970s and now we are home to Microsoft's only research centre outside the USA. But it's not just information technology, - we are a major player in manufacturing engineering, we lead in biotech research, we pioneer breakthroughs in cancer research and pharmaceuticals, and we advance international policy in the social sciences and economics. The Judge Institute, our business school, is flourishing.

Our strength is the quality of our research - some citation indexes rate us number one in the physical sciences in the world. We collaborate with the world's most renowned companies - The potential for the collaboration, Chancellor, is realised by British business and industry as witnessed by the strong statements of support we have received (and these are contained in our press release) from the following list of industrial and business leaders: Sir John Browne of BP-Amoco, Sir Richard Sykes of Glaxo, Lord Simon of Highbury, Lord Simpson, chairman and chief executive of Marconi, John Weston of British Aerospace, Chris Gent of Vodafone- AirTouch, Sir Alex Trotman until recently head of Ford international, and Robin Saxby of ARM.

MIT chose Cambridge because we are serious players in the international education and high-tech arena. This is a partnership inspired, Chancellor, by your vision for making Britain competitive, that will make the difference.

The President of MIT, Charles Vest, made this speech following the announcement of the partnership by the Chancellor of the Exchequer, Gordon Brown.

This agreement creates a bridge of the minds across the Atlantic between Cambridge, England and Cambridge, Massachusetts.

The opportunity to join forces with the University of Cambridge to advance knowledge and educate leaders for the new global society is tremendously exciting.

We believe that the synergies of Cambridge and MIT will present unparalleled opportunities for education and research and will serve to establish bold new university-industry linkages and create new cultures of entrepreneurism.

Modern industry is fast-paced, global in scale, knowledge-based, driven by innovation and spawned by entrepreneurs.

This program will not only help to stimulate industrial development in the UK, it will create a new generation of leaders and innovators on both sides of the Atlantic.

Beyond that, the Cambridge-MIT Institute will give us opportunities to explore at a new level the use of cutting-edge information technologies in education and co-operative research.

By bringing MIT and Cambridge together in this way, we can establish a model for the globally-linked research universities of the future.

I should note that this year marks the 50th anniversary of MIT's Mid-Century Convocation - when leaders of education, industry and government gathered to appraise the state of the post-war world, to consider the progress of scientific enterprise, and ponder the future role of MIT.

The keynote speaker was Winston Churchill. And it was a momentous occasion in the history of MIT.

Today, with the signing of this agreement, the 8th November 1999 is another historic day.

The foresight of the British Government, the combined strengths of our faculties, and a growing alliance with farsighted industries will establish extraordinary new pathways for our students - pathways that will lead to an even more creative and productive society in the new century.

This work is licensed under a Creative Commons Licence. If you use this content on your site please link back to this page.