Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark has announced £229 million worth of investment in the development of cutting-edge advanced materials and a new centre of excellence for the life and physical sciences as part of the government’s modern Industrial Strategy.
Included in the investment is £126 million in grants for the Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials, supporting the creation of a world-leading research centre at the University of Manchester, with satellite centres at the Universities of Sheffield, Leeds, Liverpool, Cambridge, Oxford and Imperial College.
As an international beacon for UK expertise, the Royce Institute will encompass nine key areas of materials research including graphene and proposed research areas will be grouped into four themes – energy, engineering, functional and soft materials.
Greg Clark has also announced £103 million Government investment in a new national centre of excellence for life and physical sciences, at the Rosalind Franklin Institute (RFI), located at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus, Oxford. The centre will build on the UK’s world-leading reputation in these fields and effectively bring together academia and industry.
Business and Energy Secretary Greg Clark said:
“Research and development has a proven track record of making our economy more competitive and creating new products, services and better ways of doing business. For these reasons, we’ve placed the UK’s strengths in science, research and innovation at the core of our modern Industrial Strategy.
“Government investment in these two centres for advanced materials and life and physical sciences will support growth across a range of sectors, provide the skills and training to grow our expertise in these cutting-edge fields, and facilitate positive collaboration between industry, academia and Government.”
Chief Executive Officer of AstraZeneca Pascal Soriot said:
“As a long-standing investor in UK science and partnerships with academia, we believe the creation of vibrant geographic areas of excellence would truly catalyse discovery and innovation. Supported by transport and housing infrastructure that facilitate collaboration and attract the best talent, these clusters would boost the knowledge economy and anchor industrial activity throughout the UK.”
Building on today’s announcements, Ministers from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy will be visiting businesses and universities across the East of England and Midlands today to hear and discuss the views of businesses, workers and academics on the Government’s vision for an Industrial Strategy.
Climate Change and Industry Minister Nick Hurd is going to the Advanced Propulsion Centre in Coventry while Small Business and Consumer Minister Margot James visits John Lewis and River Island distribution centres in Milton Keynes.
Lord Prior of Brompton will be visiting Resonate in Derby to see signalling and traffic management systems that are delivering capacity increases on Network Rail routes.
The Business Secretary and Ministers will then be hosting an evening reception with business leaders, start-ups and local leaders in Birmingham at the Innovation Birmingham Campus; home to 170 businesses that employ approximately 1,100 staff in total.
The government published its Industrial Strategy green paper in January, inviting industries, businesses and consumers to visit the GOV.UK website and respond to the consultation.