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£100m pledge to research hub

Government gives massive funding boost to Diamond Light Source

The government has pledged almost £100m to create a world-leading hub for research.

The Department for Business, Innovation and Skills (BIS) has allocated £97.4m to the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) for Diamond Light Source?s Phase III development at the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire.

Diamond is capable of studying a huge variety of samples from every discipline of scientific research. Recent examples of materials studied have included brain tissue to further our understanding of Parkinson?s disease and metal for hip replacements.

Diamond is the largest medium energy light source in the world and unique as a national resource in Europe. It uses cutting-edge technology to generate brilliant beams of light, from infra-red to X-rays, to examine the properties of materials at an atomic and molecular level. This has led to pioneering and ground-breaking research in the life, physical and environmental sciences.

The funding boost, together with a £13.8m contribution from the Wellcome Trust, will add 10 more beamlines to the cutting edge facility, eventually bringing the total to 32.

Professor Gerhard Materlik, Chief Executive of Diamond Light Source, said: ?Together with our wide user community from academia and industry, we have delivered on expectations so far. This Phase III capital investment demonstrates our funders? commitment to the UK science base. The team will now focus on delivering the additional experimental facilities by 2017, which will enable us to increase our scientific outputs by 50%.?

Research at the facility underpins innovation and development in technologies where the UK leads the world, such as pharmaceuticals, aerospace, energy storage and transport.

The new beamlines will extend Diamond?s reach into novel areas ? industrial processing, engineering materials, forensics, environmental and medical science, archaeology, cultural heritage and food science.




Added the 31 March 2010 in category Innovation News