£128m investment in advanced materials research institute

Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, has confirmed £128million of funding for research equipment and facilities to develop advanced materials. £105m of the funding will be devoted to the construction of the building to host the Henry Royce Institute at The University of Manchester.

The Henry Royce Institute is the UK’s home of advanced materials research and innovation. The Institute will allow the UK to grow its world-leading research and innovation base in advanced-materials science, which is fundamental to all industrial sectors and the national economy. It is a critical component of the Government’s Northern Powerhouse initiative and an attempt to boost economic growth in the North of England and balance the UK economy.

The Institute will create the missing ‘link’ in the UK innovation chain allowing the iterative design of advanced materials for various applications such as energy efficient materials for ICT or materials for use in hazardous or demanding environments such as nuclear or aerospace.

Johnson said: “The government is determined to support further commercialisation of our science and research discoveries as innovation leads to new products, services and better ways of doing business. Our modern industrial strategy will help us ensure the UK maintains its status of one of the best places in the world to conduct research, discover and innovate.”

The beneficiaries in this first tranche of funding include the universities of Cambridge, Leeds, and Sheffield, Imperial College London and the Culham Centre for Fusion Energy (CCFE), that form the satellite or spokes of the Institute, along with the Hub at The University of Manchester. Other spokes, the universities of Liverpool and Oxford and the National Nuclear Laboratory, will receive funding at a later date.