UK government invests £27M of £213M fund in supercomputers to combat COVID-19 and future pandemics
The UK is one of the most affected regions due to COVID-19 and the subsequent new strain. Eventually, the government is in plans to invest £27M in Medical Research Institutes across the UK to fund new microscopes and supercomputers to study various diseases.
The government intends to make this investment so that researchers at 43 medical research institutes can better detect and model diseases in a more detailed manner. Apparently, it will help the UK respond to the COVID-19 infection and boost resilience to pandemics that might arise in the future.
Part of £200M investment
The recent £27M investment is a part of a £213M investment to UK labs. It will provide facilities that will help researchers test technologies that can curb carbon emissions, and implement airborne sensors and autonomous marine robotics in London to keep a tab on greenhouse gas emissions.
The other facilities that will get the financial support include a unique ‘blast diagnostics’ laboratory within the University of Sheffield. This lab will test the ability of the UK to respond to the use of explosives in terrorist attacks.
Science Minister Amanda Solloway said: “The response from UK scientists and researchers to coronavirus has been nothing short of phenomenal. We need to match this excellence by ensuring scientific facilities are truly world class, so scientists can continue carrying out life-changing research for years to come as we build back better from the pandemic.”
The Exchequer Secretary to the Treasury, Kemi Badenoch, added: “This investment in state of the art science and research facilities will help the UK’s world-leading scientists deliver life-changing research, from tackling infectious diseases and COVID-19, to delivering Net Zero. It’s vital we continue to innovate to drive our economic recovery and level up the country.”
Equips UK to respond to challenges
The investment, which is a bit north of £213M is meant to upgrade UK’s scientific infrastructure. It will equip the UK’s leading research institutes, universities and scientists with the latest equipment that will drive exceptional research. Eventually, the UK will be able to better respond to the COVID-19 pandemic and achieve absolutely no carbon emissions.
Also, £20M will be invested in the Science and Technology Facilities Group (STFC) to upgrade campus infrastructure at the sites in Oxford, Edinburgh, North Yorkshire and Liverpool City Region. Besides this, the STFC will receive a further £10M funding for the same. The Medical Research Centre units in Glasgow, Edinburgh and Dundee will share £2.8M to buy high spec equipment that support COVID-19 research, and long-term programmes in cell biologGorodenkoffy, human genomics, and wider virology.