University research gets £100m boost

 

A £100 million boost to university facilities announced in today's Budget is expected to spur on new research and forge closer links between academia and industry.

The cash injection of "new" money was warmly welcomed by Professor Eric Thomas, president of Universities UK and vice-chancellor of the University of Bristol.

He described the investment as "extremely good news for students, universities and business".

Details of how the money will be allocated will be decided at a later date.

The fund is designed to encourage universities to attract more collaboration and spending from private sector industries and research charities.

It will be aimed at large capital projects which lever in significant levels of private investment for cutting-edge laboratories and equipment.

Prof Thomas said: "The links between universities and business are already strong but this will kick-start new research projects, encourage innovation and bind universities and industry even closer together.

"Universities play a vital role in developing the UK's economy and this is just the kind of confidence-boosting project that our economy needs at this time."

It is hoped the £100 million from the Government will be at least doubled by private investment.

Universities and science minister David Willetts said: "Industry and universities have a vital role to play in collaborating to achieve sustained growth in our economy. We know from experience that targeted funding can be successful in attracting significant business investment to our university research base."

In another move, the Chancellor announced that £60 million will be spent on a new UK Centre for Aerodynamics to re-invigorate Britain's aviation industry.

The aim is to create a multiple site centre where "radical" new aviation concepts, such as unusual types of wing, can be designed and tested.

It is highly unlikely that such a facility would be created without public funding, the Government believes.

Despite having Europe's biggest aerospace industry, British aviation has suffered from under-investment in recent years.

The new centre is expected to help Britain capitalise on the huge demand for new aircraft. Over the next 20 years it is estimated that 27,000 new large aircraft worth almost £2 trillion will be needed. A huge potential future market also exists for unmanned aircraft.

Sir Paul Nurse, president of the Royal Society, said the Chancellor's announcements were helpful but not enough.

He said: "These things are very welcome but on their own they are only green shoots. In the UK, the Government and industry still invest a smaller percentage of our Gross Domestic Product in research and development than our competitor economies and while that remains the case we will not fulfil the Chancellor's goal of making the UK into Europe's technology centre.

"If we want science to improve our situation we must think bigger than our competitors in investing in the full range of science and innovation from discovery, through development and on to application."

His views were echoed by Imran Khan, director of the Campaign for Science and Engineering (CaSE).

He said: "Simply reversing cuts isn't going to be a game-changer for the UK. We need to be far more ambitious if we're serious about having a hi-tech future.

"The Chancellor should re-invest the windfall from the auction of 4G mobile spectrum, due later this year, into science and engineering.

"In his Budget statement the Chancellor noted that countries like China are powering ahead in the global economy, and lamented our export record in comparison to Germany's. He must see it is no accident that both of these nations are planning big increases in their research and education investment."

The boost to aviation was described as "important" by Graham Chisnall, deputy chief executive of ADS, the UK aerospace trade organisation.

Currently the UK holds 17% of the market share in aerospace. If this was maintained, future market predictions suggest it could be worth £352 billion to the UK between now and 2029, said Mr Chisnall.

"With the announced investment, aerospace will contribute even more effectively to the Government's growth agenda," he added.

Government accused of 'stealth tax' on pensioners
Corporation tax cut to 24% in April
Unions criticise regional pay rates plan
Thousands escape child benefit axe
TV tax credit 'could end exodus' of big-budget shows
Smokers slam tobacco duty rise
Job fears over increase in beer tax increase
Plane passengers hit by air passenger duty hike
Anger over George Osborne's North Sea bid
Videogame industry celebrates tax relief in Budget
University research gets £100m boost
Ed Miliband condemns top rate tax cut
Estate agents warn that stamp duty raid could hit all homeowners
Government accused of producing a Budget 'for the rich'
George Osborne slashes 50% top tax rate
Osborne dashes fuel price hopes
Oliver Wright on the Budget: Now we have to look at what was NOT said
James Moore: Budget snap judgements
The Budget at a glance
Full text of the Budget speech

PA

PROMOTED VIDEO
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
News
ebookA unique anthology of reporting and analysis of a crucial period of history
Independent
Travel Shop
the manor
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on city breaks Find out more
santorini
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on chic beach resorts Find out more
sardina foodie
Up to 70% off luxury travel
on country retreats Find out more
Latest stories from i100
Have you tried new the Independent Digital Edition apps?
Independent Dating
and  

By clicking 'Search' you
are agreeing to our
Terms of Use.

iJobs Job Widget
iJobs General

Male Behaviour Support Assistant vacancy in Penarth

£55 - £65 per day + Travel Scheme and Free Training: Randstad Education Cardif...

BA/PM,EMIR/Dodd-Frank,London,£450-650P/D

£450 - £650 per day + competitive: Orgtel: My client, a leading bank, is curre...

SEN Learning Support Assistant vacancy in Penarth

£55 - £65 per day + Travel Scheme and Free Training: Randstad Education Cardif...

Key stage 1 and 2 teachers required for the Vale of Glamorgan

£90 - £110 per day + Travel Scheme & Free Training: Randstad Education Cardiff...

Day In a Page

Save the tiger: The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The animals bred for bones on China’s tiger farms

The big cats kept in captivity to perform for paying audiences and then, when dead, their bodies used to fortify wine
A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery all included in top 50 hidden spots in the UK

A former custard factory, a Midlands bog and a Leeds cemetery

Introducing the top 50 hidden spots in Britain
Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

Ebola epidemic: Plagued by fear

How a disease that has claimed fewer than 2,000 victims in its history has earned a place in the darkest corner of the public's imagination
Chris Pratt: From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

From 'Parks and Recreation' to 'Guardians of the Galaxy'

He was homeless in Hawaii when he got his big break. Now the comic actor Chris Pratt is Hollywood's new favourite action star
How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

How live cinema screenings can boost arts audiences

Broadcasting plays and exhibitions to cinemas is a sure-fire box office smash
Shipping container hotels: Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Pop-up hotels filling a niche

Spending the night in a shipping container doesn't sound appealing, but these mobile crash pads are popping up at the summer's biggest events
Native American headdresses are not fashion accessories

Feather dust-up

A Canadian festival has banned Native American headwear. Haven't we been here before?
Boris Johnson's war on diesel

Boris Johnson's war on diesel

11m cars here run on diesel. It's seen as a greener alternative to unleaded petrol. So why is London's mayor on a crusade against the black pump?
5 best waterproof cameras

Splash and flash: 5 best waterproof cameras

Don't let water stop you taking snaps with one of these machines that will take you from the sand to meters deep
Louis van Gaal interview: Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era

Louis van Gaal interview

Manchester United manager discusses tactics and rebuilding after the David Moyes era
Will Gore: The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series

Will Gore: Outside Edge

The goodwill shown by fans towards Alastair Cook will evaporate rapidly if India win the series
The children were playing in the street with toy guns. The air strikes were tragically real

The air strikes were tragically real

The children were playing in the street with toy guns
Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite – The British, as others see us

Britain as others see us

Boozy, ignorant, intolerant, but very polite
How did our legends really begin?

How did our legends really begin?

Applying the theory of evolution to the world's many mythologies
Watch out: Lambrusco is back on the menu

Lambrusco is back on the menu

Naff Seventies corner-shop staple is this year's Aperol Spritz