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£213m investment to boost UK’s research infrastructure

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The funding will help advance existing research infrastructure

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is investing £213m to expand and upgrade existing research infrastructure in the UK.

The funding will help UK researchers tackle major challenges such as COVID-19 research and recovery, and net zero goals.

Spread across the UK, the projects will provide UK researchers with advanced equipment, facilities and technology.

The £213m comes from the government’s World Class Labs funding scheme and is made through eight of UKRI’s constituent research councils. It covers investments in all disciplines from physical sciences to arts and humanities.

Healthcare projects include funding for scientific equipment like high-tech microscopes to boost virus research and replace machines that have been heavily used in COVID-19 research, hardware and software upgrades, bringing advanced analytical capability and enhanced capacity, as well as extensions to household surveys to understand how the pandemic has affected UK households.

Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “The response from UK scientists and researchers to coronavirus has been nothing short of phenomenal.

“We need to match this excellence by ensuring scientific facilities are truly world-class, so scientists can continue carrying out life-changing research for years to come as we build back better from the pandemic.

“From the world’s most detailed telescopes tracking disease to airborne drones monitoring greenhouse gas emissions, our investment will enhance the tools available to our most ambitious innovators across the country.

“By doing so, scientists and researchers will be able to drive forward extraordinary research that will enable the UK to respond to global challenges such as achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.”

Other projects to be funded include an offshore floating wind turbine facility at the University of Plymouth, investments in renewable energy at research sites, research infrastructure to address research capacity differences in regions across the UK, alterations to research infrastructure to ensure it is COVID-19 safe, as well as the modernisation of galleries, libraries, archives and museums.

Professor Ottoline Leyser, chief executive of UKRI, said: “Outstanding infrastructure helps to convene talent from the public and private sectors and across disciplines to tackle society’s most complex challenges.

“It acts as a magnet for researchers and innovators internationally, contributes to local and national economies, and generates knowledge and capability critical to UK policy, security and wellbeing.”

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  1. Pingback: New online tool can predict deterioration in COVID-19 patients

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