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UK Science Facilities to be Upgraded in £213 Million Government Investment

UK Science Facilities to be Upgraded in £213 Million Government Investment
13 January 2021
 

Thanks to a major investment to upgrade the UK’s scientific infrastructure, computers to track infectious diseases and a floating offshore wind testing lab are among the facilities that UK researchers will gain access to.

As part of the government’s effort to make the UK the “best place in the world for scientists and researchers to live and work” the investment will equip universities and research institutes with new state-of-the-art equipment.

The hope is that this will drive forward exceptional research that will help the UK respond to major challenges, including the COVID-19 pandemic and achieving net zero carbon emissions by 2050.

 

High Performing Microscopes, Airborne Sensors and Marine Robotics

 

The £213 million pot includes £27 million for researchers at 43 of the UK’s Medical Research Institutes, providing them with access and upgrades to equipment including ultra-high performing computers and microscopes. This will enable researchers to detect and model disease in more detail than ever before, aiding the UK’s COVID-19 response and boosting resilience for future pandemics, as well as other diseases such as cancer and dementia.

The multi-million-pound investment will also provide researchers across the country with facilities to test innovative technologies to cut carbon emissions, such as a floating offshore wind turbine testing facility at the University of Plymouth, autonomous marine robotics trialled in Southampton to monitor the health of the southern oceans, as well as airborne sensors in London to monitor greenhouse gas emissions.

Other facilities to receive financial backing includes a unique “blast diagnostics” laboratory at the University of Sheffield, which will test the UK’s ability to respond to the use of explosives in terrorist attacks.

Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: "From the world’s most detailed microscopes 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.

Picture: a photograph of a person working in protective gloves in a laboratory. The person is holding a test tube

Article written by Ella Tansley | Published 13 January 2021

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