David Willetts

E-infrastructure investment to 'drive growth and innovation'

A £158 million investment in e-infrastructure will ‘drive growth and innovation’, the UK government says.

The e-infrastructure investment includes £43 million for ARCHER – a new national supercomputer to support advanced research, such as complex chemistry and climate science, while also helping industry design new products.

David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, said: “We should not think of infrastructure as just roads and railways – it’s also the networks and systems that underpin our world-leading science and research base. This ambitious and forward-looking programme of investment will be vital for businesses and universities alike. It will improve research and manufacturing processes and reduce the time and money it takes to bring a product to market.

“This will drive growth and innovation across a whole range of sectors and ensure our leading institutions and companies are able to exploit the very latest technology.”

The following projects will also benefit from the investment:

- £30 million for the Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus, supporting research into the latest product development software;

 - £24 million for high capacity data storage across the Research Councils, ensuring researchers can easily access complex information from experiments;

- £31 million to improve high capacity networks, including JANET, the Higher Education Funding Council for England’s system that helps the higher education community share large amounts of research data more easily;

- £19 million for specialist supercomputers in areas such as particle physics and astronomy, weather forecasting and climate change, and genome analysis;

- £4.75 million for the UK Space Agency to support the collection and storage of data from satellites; and

- £6.5 million to establish a research fund for collaborative university projects to improve access to e-infrastructure.

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