The Foundation has made notable achievements in the areas of:
- Buildings and works at Downing College Cambridge
- Research into human nutrition
- Improving facilities at the Waterford Institute of Technology
- Biomedical Research
- Sponsoring International Meetings
Please see below for further information on each of these areas.
The Foundation made donations to Downing College, Cambridge to fund construction of The Howard Building, a first-floor conference hall with reception and bar/kitchen facilities, which was completed in 1987 to a design by the neo-classical architect Quinlan Terry. Later support led to Howard Lodge with 32 rooms for student accommodation which was completed in 1994. Several international scientific meetings have been held at Downing College with the support and sponsorship of the Foundation. In Autumn 2007 the Foundation donated £7 million to Downing College to fund the construction of a multi-purpose, 160-seat Theatre to include dining, break-out, practice and storage rooms, also designed by Quinlan Terry and his son Francis Terry. Construction started immediately with completion and handover to the College in December 2009. See Downing Arts for further information about events at the theatre.
Subsequently the Foundation has contributed towards the cost of the full refurbishment of the Howard Building, and the insertion of a coffered ceiling in the first floor auditorium designed by Francis Terry; also the parking area on the northern and western edge of the College together with railings and landscaping, with facilities for bicycles and battery charging.
The Foundation also sponsored the Everitt-Butterfield Research Fellowship, became a Founder Patron of the Heong Gallery, and supported “Downing Arts” which promotes cultural activities in the College and opens them up to the public where possible.
Since the Theatre opened, the Foundation has sponsored performances there including those by Downing Drama Society, outside bodies such as Cambridge Summer Festival and Cambridge Early Music and one-off charity events. To keep in touch with what is going on, click here to sign up to the Downing Arts e-newsletter.
In September 2015, an architectural history of the College by Tim Rawle entitled “A Classical Adventure” was published, entirely supported by the Foundation, and offered at a discount to College staff and alumni. Since publication, all College contemporary alumni have been given a copy of the book, along with a personal message, on behalf of the Foundation, from its Founder.
The second Edition was published in June 2018 with updated text and photographs, including a “timeline” of the College, and of College Masters and benefactors.
Click here to see books by Tim Rawle.
The Foundation has also supported residential and day visits by British architectural society groups to the College to study the “committed to classicism” architecture, including lectures open to the public in the Theatre.
The Howard Foundation Chair in Human Nutrition was established at the University of Ulster in 1993. The post was held by Professor David Thurnham for nine years after which he remained a consultant to the foundation until 2020. In 2010 the Foundation commenced regular contributions towards a Research Fellowship at Waterford Institute of Technology (“WIT”) as part of its Nutrition Research Centre Ireland.
The Fellowship was awarded to John Nolan and was converted into a Professorship in Human Nutrition in October 2016, which now runs for ten years with tenure for Professor John Nolan. A further Howard Fellowship was established in 2014 and has run since continuously with the support of commercial partners of Howard Foundation, and the work is part of the Macular Pigment Research Group of Ireland.
Waterford Institute of Technology
In addition to the Professorship in Human Nutrition and the Howard Fellowship mentioned above, the Foundation has contributed towards a research facility at Waterford Institute of Technology’s West Campus site with the creation of its Howard Laboratory opened in 2015.
During the 1980s and 1990s the Foundation organised or contributed towards numerous independent clinical trials on obesity, many of which are referred to in “The Swansea Trial”, at Charing Cross, Guys, St George’s in London and Hope Hospital Salford, also at Imperial College, and projects at the Universities of Swansea, Leeds, Liverpool, Wales and Cambridge. Since 2008 research has focused on the role of macular carotenoids in the human body through numerous projects coordinated by WIT held both in Southern Ireland and Moorfields, London. Click here for further information on the research work at WIT.
The Foundation organised and sponsored meetings on obesity in 1986 (Israel), 1989 (Cambridge) and 1990 (Japan), on creatine in 2010 at Downing College, Cambridge and on macular carotenoids in 2011, 2013, and 2015, also at Downing College,.
The first “BON” conference on Brain and Ocular Nutrition was held in the Howard Theatre at Downing College 11-13th July 2018. The second conference is planned for 5th-7th July 2021. For further information see www.bonconference.org.