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UKRI invests £34m in biomed digital infrastructure



UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has announced a £34 million investment in digital infrastructure for sharing and reuse of biological and biomedical science data.

The funding is part of a £72 million infrastructure investment package to help the UK reach targets set out in the government’s Science and Technology Framework.

The BioFAIR digital infrastructure will widen access to existing data processing, analysis and repository infrastructures to maximise the Findability, Accessibility, Interoperability, Reusability (FAIR) and Reproducibility of researchers’ data.

Bridging the gap between researchers, data sources at individual institutions, and existing data infrastructures, BioFAIR will accelerate discovery and aid research advances in fields such as medicine and agriculture.

Science and Technology Secretary, Chloe Smith, said:

“World-class facilities and equipment are at the root of cutting-edge research and our £72m investment will further accelerate innovation in astronomy, aviation, medicine and beyond.

“By working with our private sector partners and investing a record £20bn in R&D by 2025, we are making Britain a scientific superpower and creating the jobs which are so vital to growing our economy, boosting our productivity, and bringing prosperity to British people.”

The funding also includes:

  • £23 million for 11 individual wind tunnels, an experimental database and upgrades to existing facilities across the UK’s National Wind Tunnel Facility network
  • £6.8 million to scope a second-generation instrumentation suite for the European Southern Observatory’s Extremely Large Telescope
  • An £8 million investment in the conceptual design of new technologies for next-generation gravitational wave infrastructure.

The announcement follows recent investments in critical research and innovation infrastructure valued at £414 million, which are starting work this year.

UK Biobank, a major source of data and biological samples for health research, will begin its move to a purpose-built facility at Manchester Science Park and start work on a new hub to help SMEs collaborate with industry and academia.

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