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Press release: £400 million boost to regional R&D projects across the UK

  • Over £400 million of funding to back cutting-edge R&D projects across the UK – creating thousands of jobs
  • projects to develop autonomous and electric vehicles in South Wales and zero-emissions tech in Northern Ireland set to benefit
  • funding marks the latest step towards reaching the government’s target to invest 2.4% of GDP in UK research and development

Seven major research and innovation projects across the UK have today (Friday 26 June) received over £400 million 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 £186 million of government investment, backed by a further £230 million 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 7 projects across the UK receiving funding today are:

  • £44 million 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
  • £114 million 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
  • £55 million 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
  • £46 million 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
  • £33 million 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
  • £91 million 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
  • £63 million 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 £40 million to drive forward new technological advances and support the UK’s next generation of innovative businesses.