Hull pupils team up with Reckitt Benckiser to develop its Gaviscon product

By Hull Daily Mail | Posted: 15 Jun 2018

Students at Hull’s Ron Dearing UTC have been working with a major pharmaceutical company to develop new ideas for one of its best-known brands.

The group have teamed up with Reckitt Benckiser to pitch ideas on its Gaviscon brand, which tackles heartburn and indigestion.

The students were also given a glimpse of RB’s £105m Science and Innovation Centre, which is set to open its doors later this year.

The news comes as Ron Dearing UTC continues to strengthen its partnerships with some of the biggest businesses in the region.

Chloe Marshall, Charlie Kearton, Carter Lees and Nathan Carter with tablets they made in the formulation lab during a site visit to RB’s Hull site.

Sarah Pashley, principal at the college, said: “The Gaviscon Challenge has been a tremendous learning experience for the students involved and we really appreciate the commitment RB has made to it.

“This project has stimulated the students’ creativity and ingenuity, as well as enabling them to work with a global consumer good business to apply the theory they’ve been learning in science lessons to the development of a household name health brand. Opportunities like this really bring science to life for our young people.

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“It has also opened their eyes to the exciting and rewarding careers available on their doorstep with one of the world’s leading companies.”

Students from two teams spent the day at RB’s site in the city, visiting its various microbiology laboratories as well as the production line, where RB manufactures over 300 million consumer units every year.

The Gaviscon Challenge winning product proposals were a fast-acting and portable spray, and Gaviscon jellies, both designed to provide convenient relief of the pain caused by heartburn and indigestion.

Student Jordan Aitcheson-Smith, said: “Taking part in the Gaviscon challenge was a really good experience. We learned that it was important to work together as a team to come up with the best ideas.

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“The visit to RB has been really interesting. Seeing how Gaviscon products are made and being able to get hands-on and make our own tablets was great.”

Dr Bruce Charlesworth, RB’s vice president of R&D, said: “Our strategic partnership with Ron Dearing UTC is hugely important to the region and our combined future success.

RB’s Vice President of R&D and Ron Dearing UTC Governor, Dr Bruce Charlesworth, with the winning teams in the Gaviscon Challenge.

“The model improves the employability of young people, giving them a genuine insight into future careers and building the skills we require.”

“All the ideas pitched to us showed a genuine understanding of the science behind heartburn, indigestion and Gaviscon.

“We were delighted to show the students around our R&D and manufacturing facilities in Hull, where we use scientific know-how to deliver consumer solutions.”

Read more: Ron Dearing UTC hailed as ‘huge success’ in Tech Nation 2018 report

As well as RB, Ron Dearing UTC’s Founding Partners are the University of Hull and four of the region’s other leading employers – KCOM, Siemens Gamesa, Smith & Nephew and Spencer Group.

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