Brussels, 03 Aug 2005
The Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC) is to provide eight million GBP (11.6 million euro) to eight Scottish universities working within six research groups in order to strengthen the country's scientific base.
The funds are being allocated through the funding council's strategic research development grant following a call for proposals in 2004. The funding programme is designed to strengthen areas of academic research of importance to Scotland, but which do not receive significant levels of funding.
According to Roger McClure, Chief Executive of SHEFC, the new allocations take a strategic view of the requirements of the research base in Scotland, while also encouraging further collaborative working. 'The successful bids represent the continuing work that is being done in enhancing excellence and research competitiveness in Scotland, with both the quality and volume of proposals proving, once again, to be excellent,' he added.
The successful bids, most of which are collaborative, include 1.3 million GBP (1.9 million euro) for the 'mobilising advanced technologies for care at home' (MATCH) initiative, involving the Universities of Stirling, Dundee, Edinburgh and Glasgow. The goal is to develop a research base for advanced technologies for social and health care in the home, specifically home care networks, speech communication and specialised devices for disabilities.
The Scottish centre for carbon storage research, a partnership between Heriot Watt University and the University of Edinburgh, will receive 1.4 million GBP (two million euro). The aim is to establish a centre of excellence for carbon dioxide (CO2) storage in geological structures, making use of the skills and resources associated with Scotland's oil and gas industries.
Other initiatives selected for funding include a Scottish facility for compound screening and library synthesis, a characterisation laboratory for gravitational research, the Scottish consortium in integrated micro-photonic systems and the Scottish collaboration of clinical trialists. The funding will begin in the new academic year (2005-2006) for a period of four years.
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