£400m funding boost to regional R&D projects across the UK

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Seven major research and innovation projects across the UK have today received over £400m in government and industry funding.

Businesses and universities in Glasgow, Edinburgh, Belfast, Cardiff, Bristol, Liverpool and Kent are all set to benefit, ensuring projects such as zero-emissions tech for maritime vessels, smart-packaging to cut food waste, and new health products to combat infections get the investment they need to take off.

Each programme will deliver long-term economic benefits in every part of the United Kingdom, creating thousands of jobs, new skills, and encouraging more competitive and future-proof industries as our economy recovers from the coronavirus pandemic.

This latest investment is part of UK Research and Innovation’s (UKRI) flagship Strength in Places Fund, which aims to support promising research and innovation projects that will drive local economic growth. Projects announced today will receive a share of £186m of government investment, backed by a further £230m from private firms and research institutions.

Business Secretary Alok Sharma said: “Today’s announcement will ensure some of our country’s most promising R&D projects get the investment they need to take off and thrive. Working with the private sector our world-class universities, we’re backing new and innovative ideas that will create jobs and boost skills in every part of the UK for years to come.”

The seven projects across the UK receiving funding today are:

  • £44m for a consortium led by Cardiff University, to group capabilities in South Wales developing technologies in areas such as communications, 5G, innovative vehicles and medical devices
  • £114m for a consortium led by the Liverpool School of Tropical Medicine, which is ensuring innovative, new healthcare products and solutions to combat human infections are made available in the North West faster and cheaper. This could help simplify diagnosis, reduce the need to draw blood and risks from contaminated needles
  • £55m for a consortium led by the University of Edinburgh to fund research to understand financial behaviours and address financial challenges such as fair access to credit, property ownership and saving
  • £46m for a consortium led by the University of Bristol to support new digital formats in film making in the South West including new experiences across fiction, documentary, games and live performance
  • £33m for a consortium led by the National Institute of Agriculture Botany EMR at East Malling to increase investment in emerging technologies such as Artificial Intelligence (AI), automation and smart-packaging for food production to help improve efficiencies and reduce waste
  • £91m for a consortium led by the University of Glasgow to translate new approaches in precision medicine into real-world settings, which will allow doctors to select treatments for patients based on a disease’s genetics
  • £63m for a consortium led by Artemis Technologies Ltd to develop zero-emissions technologies in Northern Ireland for the introduction of wind-electric hybrids for maritime vessels, including a new zero-emissions water taxi scheme

The announcement also follows the government doubling investment in its Fast Start Competition to £40m to drive forward new technological advances and support the UK’s next generation of innovative businesses.

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