The Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC) and the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) announced on Sunday April 1 that they are to merge, forming the Science and Technology Facilities Council.
The Council’s remit will cover all the programmes, activities and facilities previously operated by CCLRC and PPARC, plus responsibility for research in nuclear physics which has been transferred from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).
Commenting on the new council, Chief Executive Officer Prof. Keith Mason said: ’My ambition for the new Council is to shape a future in which the science we support, the facilities we operate, the technologies we develop, and the way we interact with industry and run our business are envied both nationally and internationally.
‘CCLRC and PPARC both had significant achievements and a reputation for world-class research, but we can do more. We have a huge opportunity to develop a really coherent strategy for “big science”, to increase our influence in international organisations and make a step change in the exploitation of the resulting technology.
‘The Science and Technology Facilities Council has the chance to make a real difference to the competitive performance of the UK science and engineering base, and to the UK economy.’
The Council has a wide ranging science portfolio including astronomy, particle physics, particle astrophysics, nuclear physics, space science, synchrotron radiation, neutron sources and high power lasers. In addition the Council operates three internationally recognised laboratories: the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory in Oxfordshire, the Daresbury Laboratory in Cheshire, and the UK Astronomy Technology Centre in Edinburgh.