Super microscope and sensors scoop cash

July 17, 2008

Research examining how economic, social and biological factors combine to explain human behaviour, and new technology to map magnetic fields across the universe, are among projects to be funded with £397 million of government money.

Details of nine multidisciplinary projects that will be supported through the Large Facilities Capital Fund were announced this week.

They include £92.5 million for the Diamond Light Source scientific facility in Oxfordshire, a "super microscope" housed in a building covering the area of five football pitches, which generates intense light used by scientists to investigate different materials.

The Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus in Cheshire will receive a total of £65 million for a a new computer science centre and a research facility to develop sensors.

Ian Pearson, Minister for Science and Innovation, said the Government was committed to developing Daresbury as an international centre of expertise in science and innovation.

He said: "Today's announcement is proof that the future for the site is an exciting one. Computational science and engineering is now indispensable to the solution of complex problems in every sector. This ranges from traditional science and engineering domains to key areas such as national security, public health and economic innovation."

The LFCF provides additional money to priority projects identified by the UK research councils.

The approved projects

  • £67 million for the re-development of a laboratory of molecular biology at Cambridge
  • £28.5 million for a research facility for birth cohort studies - supporting development at the interface between biomedical and social sciences
  • £50 million for a computational sciences centre at Daresbury Science and Innovation Campus
  • £24 million for an imaging solutions centre to develop imaging technologies at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus
  • £30 million for a detector systems centre to be based at Harwell and Daresbury to research, design and produce sensors
  • £25 million for Isis stage 2. To complete the development of the UK's world-leading neutron source at Harwell
  • £92.5 million for Diamond Light Source, to complete the third phase of the facility
  • £15 million for the Square Kilometre Array, the first prototype phase of the next generation global radio telescope
  • £65 million towards a next generation supercomputer.

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