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£50 million infrastructure upgrade

Research and innovation infrastructure in the UK is to receive a £50 million upgrade, furthering the government’s aim to cement the UK’s status as a science superpower.

The projects include a boost to the world’s largest and most sensitive radio telescope network, carbon capture technologies, a state-of-the-art airborne research laboratory and a £17 million investment in digital research infrastructure.

The funding, which is supporting more than a dozen infrastructure projects and scoping studies, follows the Prime Minister’s announcement of a new ministerial council and Office for Science and Technology Strategy. Both will provide strategic direction on the use of science and technology as the tools to tackle great societal challenges, level up across the country and boost prosperity around the world.

Science Minister Amanda Solloway said:

If the last year and a half has taught us anything it’s that new challenges can arise from anywhere at any time.

By investing millions in the UK’s research infrastructure, we are putting science and innovation at the heart of our efforts to build back better while ensuring that we can respond to challenges now and in the future – from pandemic preparedness to tackling climate change.

Tackling problems such as climate change and antimicrobial resistance are immediate priorities reflected in the projects receiving funding, but this funding is equally designed to address the challenges and opportunities that may arise in the future.

By putting the infrastructure in place now, the UK will lead the world in developing innovative approaches to the challenges facing society, as well as enhancing the UK’s long-term research capability.

This investment will be delivered through grant funding and is the first to be delivered through UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) Infrastructure Roadmap programme to bolster the UK’s research and innovation capabilities.

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