£186 million boost for technologies of the future
A package of investment in the 8 great technologies of the future will accelerate high-tech progress from the lab to the marketplace and help drive UK economic growth, Science and Universities Minister David Willetts announced.
In the Mountbatten lecture, hosted by the Institution of Engineering and Technology, David Willetts set out how the UK will tackle some of the greatest challenges of our time, like climate change, energy storage, food production and population growth.
Mr Willetts announced that a £70 million Agri-Tech Catalyst, which will help new agricultural technologies bridge the so-called ‘valley of death’ between the lab and the marketplace, is open for bids. This will support one of the UK’s largest manufacturing sectors, with the entire agri-food supply chain estimated to contribute £96 billion to the UK economy and support more than 450,000 jobs.
This includes £10 million from the Department for International Development to support the transfer of technology and new products to developing countries.
Other funding includes:
- £44 million for 2 projects to monitor crucial ocean currents in the North Atlantic. These currents shape Britain’s climate and weather patterns and this information could help meteorologists better predict the weather
- £3.5 million in business-led projects to develop innovative tools and services like gene sequencing, for the UK synthetic biology industry
- £15 million for King’s College London to create a Research and Innovation Hub within the new Cancer Centre at Guy’s Hospital
- £10 million for the University of Glasgow to create a new Clinical Research Facility and imaging suite at South Glasgow Hospitals Campus
- £10 million for the University of Southampton to build new engineering research facilities and infrastructure
- £34 million investment in a new data research network and 4 administrative data research centres to help the UK get ahead in the global technology race
The 8 great technologies are big data, space and satellites, robotics and autonomous systems, synthetic biology, regenerative medicine, agri-science, advanced materials and energy storage.