Five major science, medical and manufacturing projects across the UK have been selected to share a nearly £300m worth pool of public and private money.
The funding, which was announced on at a ceremony at the Francis Crick Institute on 6 June by Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne, is part of a project of the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund (UKRIF).
"By bringing together our Nobel Prize winning scientists, our world-class companies and our entrepreneurial start-ups, we can drive innovation and create the economic dynamism Britain needs to win in the global race”, Osborne said, stating also that science was his ‘personal priority’.
The rewarded projects focus on advancement in physical sciences, medical research, innovative materials, pharmaceutical manufacturing and advanced manufacturing.
The biggest portion of the funding, £117m, goes to a partnership that seeks to establish a Multidisciplinary Characterisation Facility at the University of Manchester. Supported, among others, by BP plc, Rolls-Royce, AMEC or National Nuclear Laboratory, the project aims at accelerating research into materials that can operate under extremely harsh conditions – in extraction of inaccessible oil and gas reserves or improving durability of aero engines operating at very high temperatures.
A further £63m was awarded to the Winton Programme for the Physics of Sustainability of the University of Cambridge to fund the Maxwell Centre – a future hub for industrial partnership and collaboration with small and medium enterprises (SMEs). Located at the West Cambridge Science and Technology campus, the project is sponsored by Hitachi Ltd, the Herchel Smith Trust Fund.
The University of Sheffield’s Advanced Manufacturing Research (AMRC) Factory 2050 project received £43m of funding. Its goal is to establish the most flexible factory in the world, capable of rapidly switching production between different high-value components and one-off parts.
The yesterday announced projects were the last of the total of 20 partnerships awarded the UKRIF funding.