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Tuesday, 7 December, 1999, 15:50 GMT
University science promised 320m
Science The research funds will be shared by 27 universities


Science research in universities across the United Kingdom is to receive an extra 320m.

Announcing the funding for 45 projects in 27 universities, the Trade and Industry Secretary, Stephen Byers, has claimed that this represents the biggest investment in "university science infrastructure" for 40 years.

Attacking what he described as years of under-funding for university science, Mr Byers said that the investment will contribute towards creating a "competitive, knowledge-driven economy" and "high quality, high wage companies".

Stephen Byers Stephen Byers claims that this is the largest funding of its kind for 40 years
The funding is from the Joint Infrastructure Fund, an initiative launched last year by the DTI, the Wellcome Trust and the Higher Education Funding Council for England. This includes money made available from the government's comprehensive spending review in July 1998.

The need for up-to-date facilities was emphasised by Dr Michael Dexter, director of the Wellcome Trust, who warned that "scientists work in an increasingly competitive environment and research will only flourish if they have access to the best facilities".

The individual allocations for universities, which have still to be announced, will range between 30m and 750,000.

But among those set to benefit, the University of Manchester is to receive funding for three projects, including an upgrade to the Lovell telescope.

Six of the projects to be funded will be at the University of Cambridge, including advanced research in maths, neuroscience and biology. Another four will be from Oxford, including projects in computing and chemistry.

Funding for Aberdeen University will support the setting up of unmanned, mobile underwater research platforms for oceanographic research. And at Cardiff University there will be finance for a room which removes magnetic fields, as part of a study of magnetism.

Scientists at the University of Newcastle studying vision and a project at the University of Leeds considering traffic pollution and traffic noise will both be supported with extra funding.

The study of greenhouse gases and ozone at University of East Anglia will be supported by funding for a new laboratory and the University of Edinburgh will receive money for advanced computer equipment.

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See also:
21 Jun 99 |  Education
Call to double UK science funding
09 Nov 99 |  Sci/Tech
Urgent call for UK science funding

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