Technology centres investment

A multi-million pound investment announced by the Engineering Physical Sciences Research Council will see two new innovation and knowledge centres built at Leeds University and Queen’s University Belfast.


A multi-million pound investment announced by the Engineering Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) will be used to build two new innovation and knowledge centres (IKCs) at Leeds University and Queen’s University Belfast.


In collaboration with the Technology Strategy Board (TSB) and the Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC), the EPSRC will provide funding of £20m to establish the IKCs in the areas of collaborative research and emerging technologies.


The IKCs hope to combine the early stages of research with a commercial strategy to ensure the UK can fully capitalise on its benefits.


Belfast’s new centre will work to safeguard the UK’s information architecture and the security of electronically stored information.


The focus will include solutions to modern problems such as protecting mobile phone networks and creating secure corridors to improve airport security.


The centre at LeedsUniversity will develop technologies to treat the common ailments of an ageing population.


In particular, it will focus on the emerging field of regenerative therapies to develop physical and biological treatments, including biological scaffolds, nano-biomaterials and self-assembling peptides.


According to the EPSRC, the IKCs are expected to be self-financing within five years and will offer opportunities for 50 innovation fellows and 50 innovation PhDs to develop their research.


Lord Drayson, minister of state for science and innovation, said: ‘The investment in these two new innovation and knowledge centres will foster an entrepreneurial environment where ground-breaking research can mix at an early stage with business and potential customers, to provide a clear commercial strategy for accelerating its impact on the economy.


 


‘This is exactly what the UK needs.’