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Composites, robotics and energy storage research: three key technologies identified as part of the government’s ‘eight great technologies’ to drive UK growth are to receive an £85 million investment for capital equipment.
Speaking at the Global Intelligent Systems conference in London, David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, announced the results of a call for proposals issued by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).The University of Bristol is one of more than 20 universities across the UK who will benefit from announcement to support and strengthen existing research in the areas of Advanced Materials, Grid-scale energy storage and Robotics and Autonomous systems.The Advanced Composites Centre for Innovation and Science (ACCIS) is recognised as an international leading facility and is hosted at the University of Bristol for understanding the evolving microstructure of advanced composite materials. The new facility will build on ACCIS which has major industrial backing and will involve close working with the National Composites Centre.Professor Mike Hinton, NCC Technology Director said, “This will provide world class composites manufacturing research equipment uniquely co-located with the industrial scale-up developmental facilities to enable further collaboration with leading UK industrial manufacturers in the Phase II extension of the NCC. The direct interactions will promote a clarity of focus on the industrial research needs and a rapid exploitation route for transitioning the science into industrial applications."The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is the UK’s main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences. The areas covered range from information technology to structural engineering, and mathematics to materials science. This £85m investment will underpin key sectors for the UK economy, including automotive, manufacturing, aerospace, energy, and healthcare.Robotics and autonomous systems will receive EPSRC Grant of 25 million with additional funding contributions of 8.4 million from higher education institutions and 6 million from industrial partners = Total of 39.4 millionAdvanced materials will receive EPSRC Grant of 30 million with additional funding contributions of 11.7 million from higher education institutions and 5.5 million from industrial partners = Total of 47.2 millionGrid-scale energy storage will receive EPSRC Grant of 30 million with additional funding contributions of 9.8 million from higher education institutions and 5.8 million from industrial partners = Total of 45.6 millionMore information: www.nccuk.com