The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, visited Manchester today (28 March 2014) to announce a £4 million grant for a new materials science centre at Manchester University, and £800,000 for Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry.
The Chancellor was speaking at Manchester University on a visit to see the National Graphene Institute nearing completion, following nearly £40 million of funding for graphene research at Budget 2012.
While at the university, he revealed a further £4 million would be available for a new Centre for Doctoral Training where PhD students from Manchester University will collaborate with researchers from industry (including BP, Airbus, BAE Systems and Rolls-Royce) developing materials for demanding environments.
The work at the centre will focus on the design and manufacture of longer lasting materials and the accurate prediction of safe material lifetimes, and will have widespread applications in areas such as oil and gas exploration, aerospace and nuclear power.
The grant comes from a £106 million investment in last week’s Budget for 22 new Centres for Doctoral Training, benefiting 1100 post graduate students. The Centres are run by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and help industry and academia work in partnership to turn research into practical new technology.
The Chancellor later announced that he would make £800,000 available to support the Museum of Science and Industry’s plans for a purpose-designed world class temporary exhibition gallery. In this space the Museum will develop and stage internationally renowned displays that can both meet the huge appetite for science in the North West and tour the world - to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers. This investment will kick-start the project, allowing the Museum to work up detailed plans and begin fundraising.
The Chancellor said;
Our industrial strategy around science and innovation is part of a long term plan to invest in the industries of the future. Today in Manchester, these plans are becoming a reality.
In addition to the National Graphene Institute nearing completion, I am also able to announce a further £4.8 million for a new advanced materials centre and funding to kick-start a new exhibition space at Manchester’s Museum of Science and Industry.
This will inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers here in Manchester, bringing more balanced growth across the UK and building a more resilient economy.
Professor Colin Bailey, Vice-President and Dean of the Faculty of Engineering and Physical Sciences, said:
We are delighted that the Chancellor has come to The University of Manchester to mark the topping out ceremony for the National Graphene Institute. The NGI is a perfect example of how the UK is investing in its world-class science base and seeking to harvest the knowledge for the benefit of the UK economy and society more globally.
Today’s announcement by the Chancellor is also another boost to support the training of our future scientists and engineers, which is critical to the future wellbeing of the country.
Ian Blatchford, Director of the Science Museum Group, said:
This investment is an enormous boost to the Museum of Science & Industry and of huge importance to our growth and our reputation as a museum at the cutting-edge of science. Our site is steeped in history, our collections encapsulate all that is great about Manchester and our year-round exhibition programme already attracts tens of thousands of visitors from across the region.
This financial support will enable the Museum to take the first steps towards creating a world-class temporary exhibition gallery. In this space we will develop and stage internationally renowned displays that can both meet the huge appetite for science in the North West and tour the world - to inspire the next generation of scientists and engineers.
Photo courtesy of quimby on Flickr, used under Creative Commons.