Glasgow helps secure the future of electronic design, with the help of £4.2 million funding

Issued: Mon, 09 May 2005 00:00:00 BST

A major new tranche of funding has just been announced today by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). The awards are the first in the Science and Innovation Awards programme and will directly build the UK's research base in diverse areas such as energy research, physical organic chemistry, statistics, and electronics.

The University of Glasgow has achieved the greatest amount of funding. £4.2 million will go towards the creation of an Electronics Design Centre to advance the area of electronics and electrical engineering. Led by Professor David Cumming at the University's Electronics and Electrical Engineering department David Cumming explains:

'The Centre will establish a purpose built laboratory and recruit academics to deliver cutting-edge research that will enable new systems to emerge from nanoelectronic, optoelectronic and bio-electronic technologies. The Research Centre will address the increasing need to combine these diverse technologies for biomedical, environmental, safety and communications applications. The centre will also promote excellence in teaching and research training in electronics design."

Other award winners include: Cardiff University, University of Nottingham, University of Strathclyde, and University of Warwick.

In a changing research landscape, as undergraduates choose new options, more traditional core subjects are encountering declining numbers of entrants. This in-turn affects the base of academic staff in our universities, which impacts on the nation's capacity to produce the well-trained people and research leaders of tomorrow.

The objective of the programme of Science and Innovation Awards has been to introduce funding to areas of research identified by EPSRC that could use this help to bolster what they are doing.

Professor John O'Reilly Chief Executive of EPSRC said: "We are taking action now to secure our position for the future in some key research areas that are at risk and yet crucially important to the UK economy and to the well-being of science more generally. However, the Science and Innovation Awards must be recognised as but the first of many steps that will be required to reverse the situation."

EPSRC in partnership with the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE), and the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council (SHEFC) will fund 5 major programmes with a value of over £19 million.

Sir Howard Newby Chief Executive of HEFC said Sir Howard Newby, said: "As new industries develop and traditional industries become ever more knowledge dependent HEFCE is committed to sustaining and developing research capacity in key strategic areas of science and technology. I am very pleased to share this commitment with EPSRC and SHEFC through the Science and Innovation Awards programme. "

Commenting on the allocations, Roger McClure, Chief Executive of SHEFC said: "SHEFC are pleased to partner the EPSRC and HEFCE in the Science and Innovation Awards programme. This initiative should help to counter potential decline in research capacity in key strategic disciplines in the UK of importance to the knowledge economy, and Scotland is rightly part of this effort."

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For more details of the University of Glasgow award please contact the University Press Office on 0141 330-3535. Alternatively contact Lance Cole EPSRC Press Officer on 01793 444312 or email; or Natasha Richardson, Assistant Press Officer on 01793 44440 or e mail:

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