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Government unveils £72m for science research infrastructure

Science infrastructure
Image credit: Gorodenkoff via Shutterstock

The government has announced £72m of funding to develop the UK’s scientific research infrastructure as part of a bid to become a “science and tech superpower”.

The funding, which will be delivered through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), a public body, will target new infrastructure projects as part of the government’s Science and Technology Framework.

The total figure will be broken down across four different projects. They include 11 individual wind tunnels to upgrade the facilities across the UK’s National Wind Tunnel Facility network, a new digital infrastructure for sharing and reuse of biological and biomedical science data, a second-generation instrumentation suite for the European Southern Observatory’s Extremely Large Telescope, and a conceptual design of new technologies for next-generation gravitational wave infrastructure.

“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,” said Chloe Smith, the stand-in technology secretary.

“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 investment has come from UKRI’s Infrastructure Fund and Digital Research Infrastructure programme.

“This £72m investment in the UK’s research and innovation infrastructure will ensure the UK is at the forefront of scientific discovery,” said Professor Mark Thomson, executive chair of the Science and Technology Facilities Council and UKRI champion for infrastructure.

“It will support our scientists in responding to major global challenges including net zero and food security.”