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University of Bristol and the National Composites Centre to Benefit from Government Award of £85 Million to Composites, Robotics and Energy Storage Research

30 July 2013

Three key technologies identified as part of the government’s ‘eight great technologies’ to drive UK growth are to receive an £85 million investment for capital equipment.

Speaking at the Global Intelligent Systems conference in London, David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, announced the results of a call for proposals issued by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

The University of Bristol is one of more than 20 universities across the UK who will benefit from the announcement to support and strengthen existing research in the areas of Advanced Materials, Grid-scale energy storage and Robotics and Autonomous systems.

David Willetts, said, “For Britain to get ahead in the global race we have to back emerging technologies and ensure our universities have the latest equipment. This capital investment will help scientists make new discoveries and take their research through to commercial success. It will drive growth and support the Government’s industrial strategy.”

The Advanced Composites Centre for Innovation and Science (ACCIS) is recognised as an international leading facility and is hosted at the University of Bristol for understanding the evolving microstructure of advanced composite materials. The new facility will build on ACCIS which has major industrial backing and will involve close working with the National Composites Centre.

Professor Mike Hinton, NCC Technology Director said, “This will provide  world class composites manufacturing research equipment uniquely co-located with the industrial scale-up developmental facilities to enable further collaboration with leading UK industrial manufacturers in the Phase II extension of the NCC. The direct interactions will promote a clarity of focus on the industrial research needs and a rapid exploitation route for transitioning the science into industrial applications.

The EPSRC is the UK’s main agency for funding research in engineering and the physical sciences. The areas covered range from information technology to structural engineering, and mathematics to materials science. This £85m investment will underpin key sectors for the UK economy, including automotive, manufacturing, aerospace, energy, and healthcare.

Professor David Delpy, EPSRC Chief Executive said, "The successful bids will build capability in areas that are vital for the country and where exciting research is already being carried out. Developing new ways to storing energy, creating new materials for manufacturing and other industries, and increasing our understanding of how autonomous systems communicate, learn and work with humans."

Advanced materials will receive an EPSRC Grant of £30million with additional funding contributions of £11.7million from higher education institutions and £5.5million from industrial partners.





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