UK invests £229m in research centres

Article by Staff Writer

THE UK government is investing £229m (US$287m) in research centres for advanced materials, and life and physical sciences as part of its wider Industrial Strategy.

Business and energy secretary Greg Clark announced today that £126m will be spent on the Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials, supporting the creation of a world-leading research centre at the University of Manchester, and satellite centres at the Universities of Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool, Cambridge, Oxford and Imperial College London.

The Royce Institute will focus on nine areas of materials research, including graphene, across four themes including energy, engineering, functional and soft materials.

The remaining £103m will be invested in a new national centre of excellent for life and physical sciences, aiming to bring together academia and industry, at the Rosalind Franklin Institute (RFI) in Oxford.

“Research and development has a proven track record of making our economy more competitive and creating new products, services and better ways of doing business. For these reasons, we’ve placed the UK’s strengths in science, research and innovation at the core of our modern Industrial Strategy,” Clark said.

“Government investment in these two centres for advanced materials and life and physical sciences will support growth across a range of sectors, provide the skills and training to grow our expertise in these cutting-edge fields, and facilitate positive collaboration between industry, academia and government.”

The government outlined its plans for a new interventionalist industrial strategy in January, with proposals for supporting sectors that come forward with their own development strategies, boosting research spending and radically overhauling technical education.

It has since appointed its chief scientific advisor Sir Mark Walport as the head of a new overarching agency that will choose how the state’s £6bn/y research funding is distributed.

Article by Staff Writer

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