• Projects to make a Positive Impact on Peoples Lives
    Picture credit: UK Research and Innovation

News & Views

Projects to make a Positive Impact on Peoples Lives

Jun 17 2023

Nineteen business and academic partnerships projects worth £149 million of public and matched industry funding are to be focused on quantum, medtech, energy and other sectors. The recently announced projects will include:

  • a new type of fibre optic cable that will increase the speed of data transmission by 50% (University of Southampton and Microsoft)
  • a new magnetic resonance imaging (MRI) scanner that will improve the diagnosis of lung diseases (The University of Sheffield and GE Healthcare)
  • a new type of knee replacement that will be more affordable and durable (University of Leeds and Invibio Ltd)
  • a new generation of air travel technologies that will help to decarbonise aviation (University of Bath and GKN)
  • robots to repair offshore energy systems (Heriot-Watt University and Fugro GB Marine)

£57 million funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), will be boosted by £4 million from UKRI’s Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council (BBSRC) and Medical Research Council (MRC). This public funding is being matched by a further £88 million from academia and business.

The 19 projects are expected to make a real difference to people’s lives, for example, the new fibre optic cable could be used to create a new generation of datacentres and optical networks that would enable ultrafast internet and cloud services.

The new MRI scanner could help to improve the diagnosis of lung diseases, such as lung cancer and chronic obstructive pulmonary disease (COPD) while knee replacement technology could bring benefit to people with osteoarthritis, a condition that affects millions of people in the UK.

A new generation of air travel technologies would help to decarbonise aviation and pave the airways for hydrogen-fuelled aircraft, reducing the environmental impact of air transport.

Industrial partners include AstraZeneca, BAE Systems, BASF, GKN, Leonardo, QinetiQ, Rolls-Royce and Scottishpower Energy.

Dr Andrew Bourne, Director of Partnerships at EPSRC said:  “Prosperity Partnerships demonstrate how business and academia can come together to co-create and co-deliver research and innovation that address industry-driven challenges and deliver economic and societal impact. These new projects showcase the breadth of research and innovation in the UK, covering a wider range of sectors, and support the UK’s ambitions to be a science superpower and an innovation nation.”

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