£204m fund to train future science leaders & boost quantum research

Posted on 1 Mar 2016 by Jonny Williamson

Funding of more than £200 million to support PhD students in engineering and physical sciences, as well boost the UK’s research into quantum technologies is to be announced today by Universities Minister Jo Johnson.

The £167m investment in Doctoral Training Partnerships and £37m investment in the UK’s National Quantum Technologies Programme will support cutting-edge research across the UK and help top students into a PhD.

The funding for Quantum Technologies will further boost the UK’s leading position in creating new technologies which use advanced physics to deliver products for anything from more accurate brain-scanning and earlier Alzheimer’s diagnosis, to smaller and more powerful computers.

The funding is a part of the Government’s ongoing commitment to UK science, with a record £6.9bn invested in science labs and equipment up to 2021, and protection of the science budget at £4.7bn a year in real terms for the rest of the Parliament.

The announcement is due to be made by Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson at the University of Oxford’s Networked Quantum Information Technologies Hub.

The Minister will say: “We are committed to securing the UK’s position as a world leader in science and innovation.

“The Government is ensuring major new discoveries happen here, such as the creation of super-powerful quantum computers which scientists are working on in Oxford.

Minister of State for Universities and Science Jo Johnson touring the CPI National Biologics Manufacturing Centre.
Minister of State for Universities and Science Jo Johnson touring the CPI National Biologics Manufacturing Centre in 2015.

“This new funding builds on our protection for science spending by supporting research in our world-leading universities and helping to train the science leaders of tomorrow.”

The Doctoral Training Partnerships are being awarded to 40 universities from Southampton to Aberdeen, Cardiff and Belfast, and will give upwards of 2,000 students the opportunity of Doctoral study, nurturing scientific and engineering talent in the UK.

It will also enable universities to develop new ideas with more research support, so they can then leverage future funding from business and deliver new methods and understanding which will help improve our lives.

The £37m funding includes investing £25m in new equipment at seven University-based Quantum institutions, and £12m to help train researchers staring out their careers in quantum engineering.

Together they will help ensure the UK is in a leading position to benefit from the huge potential of quantum engineering for major global industries like computing and consumer electronics.

The UK’s quantum technologies programme develops important relationships with EU partners, and this funding will further strengthen the position of UK scientists, who are able to access a much broader range of academic research through the EU.

This has also led to key investment in UK discoveries from European companies the likes of Airbus and Cold Quanta.