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UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) is investing £103m to expand and upgrade the UK’s world class research infrastructure, including digital infrastructure.

The investments will support the sector and ensure UK researchers, including those in Scotland, have access to the best labs and equipment they need to keep producing world-class science.

Investments in Scotland include:

  • Creating immersive experience systems with accessibility as the fundamental theme, with new equipment catering to more people, including those with additional access needs at Historic Environment Scotland.
  • Modernising the electron microscopy capabilities at the University of Glasgow
  • An investment in estates to provide upgrades to the national laboratories across the UK including Edinburgh, Daresbury and Harwell, which underpin fundamental research in astronomy, physics and space science.

Facilities receiving funding include:

  • Medical Research Council (MRC) Laboratory of Molecular Biology (LMB) for new equipment to enable a much greater understanding of human diseases and the design of powerful drugs against them.
  • National Oceanography Centre’s state-of-the-art deep-sea research facility for a new sediment core scanner.
  • UK Digital Heritage Centre at the University of Liverpool to fund cutting edge facilities that will pioneer a new approach to preserving, promoting and progressing cultural heritage through technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), Blockchain and the Metaverse.

The £103 million additional funding support is comprised of:

  • £79.3 million as part of the £150 million announcement, to address the impacts of the ongoing delay in UK association to the EU’s Horizon Europe programme.
  • £23.7 million as part of the £370 million announcement to forge a better Britain through investment in science and technology.

Helen Cross, SFC’s Director of Research and Innovation, said:

“Investment in research infrastructure is critical in underpinning Scotland’s world –class university research base. These investments include universities in Scotland and will support our  outstanding reputation for research by expanding and upgrading our research and digital infrastructure.

This infrastructure plays a significant role in ensuring that research realises its full transformational impact for Scottish society and for our economy.”

UK Science and Technology Secretary Chloe Smith said:

“Our world-class science and technology sectors are the engine room for growth in the UK economy, and the basis for scientific and technological advancements that will improve everyone’s lives.

“These sectors need continued, concerted and concentrated backing from the government and I am determined to provide it during my time as Science and Technology Secretary, through funding such as this, which will ensure our world class labs have the infrastructure and equipment to match their status.”

UKRI International Champion, Professor Christopher Smith, said:

“This crucial support for UK research infrastructure is part of the package of support provided by government so that our research and innovation communities can carry on with their essential work notwithstanding the delay to association with Horizon Europe.

“The investments, made across the UK, will provide UK researchers with advanced equipment, facilities and technology, and help maintain the UK’s position as a leader in research and innovation.

“This support will ensure the UK is an attractive place for scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs to live, work and innovate.”

You can find a full breakdown of funding at UKRI’s website.