£47m investment in engineering research announced

12 March 2013
By Edd Gent
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David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, will announce £47 million of investment in leading engineering research projects today

David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, will announce £47 million of investment in leading engineering research projects today

The government’s science minister will announce £47m of investment in leading engineering research projects today.

David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, will announce the funding at the first Global Grand Challenges Summit (GGCS), organised by the Royal Academy of Engineering and its American and Chinese counterparts, in London this afternoon.

Five Frontier Engineering projects will receive £25m in total. The successful applicants cover a range of topics that align with the themes of the Global Grand Challenges Summit, which has been designed to find solutions to some to the world’s most pressing technological challenges.

Willetts said: "Over the last two centuries engineering innovations have transformed lives, but we still face global challenges like tackling climate change, improving healthcare and meeting basic needs, like access to clean water. This significant investment recognises the vital role that the UK research base can have in providing solutions to these challenges."

In addition, four large grants to UK universities, totalling £20m will go to projects that also match the Summit’s themes of Resilience, Health, and Technology & Growth – developing new diagnostic tools and therapies in health, exploring the use of hexagonal structures in technology, and improving urban infrastructure planning and modelling.

Lastly, a new call for proposals from UK and US teams to research provision of clean water for all will have between £1 to 2m to allocate, to be issued via collaboration between the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the National Science Foundation.

EPSRC’s chief executive, Professor David Delpy said: "The issues being explored at the Global Grand Challenges Summit highlight how important it is for the UK to fund engineering research in these areas and work with colleagues worldwide to develop both the people and projects to meet the demands of the twenty first century."

The five successful applicants for Frontier Engineering Awards are “Scaling up synthetic biology”, led by Imperial College London, “Nature inspired engineering”, led by University College London, “Synthetic biology applications to water”, led by Glasgow University, “Individualised multiscale simulation”, led by the University of Sheffield, and “Simulation of open engineered biological systems”,  led by Newcastle University.

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