Pioneering researchers in the South West of England will benefit from a £5.8 million government grants to convert their innovative ideas to transformational products and services.
Tackling some of the world’s greatest challenges, including climate change and terminal disease, one hundred of the UK’s up and coming scientists and researchers will receive a share of over £109 million to develop their “blue sky” solutions to global issues such as food supply, cancer diagnosis and dementia treatment.
The investment will enable the most promising scientists and researchers in the South West and across the UK, from Edinburgh to Exeter, to fund vital equipment and researcher wages, to help drive forward their studies at speed.
Among the next generation of UK science leaders in the South West being backed by government grants include Dr Nathan Mayne, at the University of Exeter, who aims to further our knowledge of whether life exists on other planets and how the Earth’s climate will change in the future, through state-of-the-art modelling, combining tools and expertise from a wide range of sources, such as the Met Office and astrophysics research.
Science Minister Amanda Solloway said:
“We are committed to building back better through research and innovation, supporting our science superstars in every corner of the UK.
“The South West of England has a rich history in scientific discovery, and has given the world the Concorde plane, plasticine and even the Cornish pasty. By backing these inspirational Future Leaders Fellows, we are ensuring that the South West remains an innovation hub, helping our next generation of science leaders turn their brilliant ideas into vital products and services that will change all our lives for the better.”
Other projects in the South West announced today include:
- Dr Hannah Griffiths, at the University of Bristol, will explore how large above-ground mammals, such as deer, as well as tiny invertebrates and microbes under the soil, impact forest growth, providing new knowledge that will inform efforts to increase biodiversity and combat climate change.
- Dr Zoë Mildon, at the University of Plymouth, who will develop advanced new methods of modelling earthquakes to better understand how, where and why earthquakes occur, building towards better forecasting of earthquakes in the future.
UK Research and Innovation chief executive, Professor Dame Ottoline Leyser, said:
“Future Leaders Fellowships provide researchers and innovators with freedom and support to drive forward transformative new ideas and the opportunity to learn from peers right across the country.
“The fellows announced today illustrate how the UK continues to support and attract talented researchers and innovators across every discipline to our universities and businesses, with the potential to deliver change that can be felt across society and the economy.”
The government has committed over £900 million to its Future Leader Fellowship initiative over three years, which is being delivered through UK Research and Innovation (UKRI).
The government grants committed to the fellows forms part of the government’s commitment to increase public spending in research and development (R&D) by £22 billion by 2024/25, putting the UK on track to reach 2.4% of GDP being spent on R&D across the UK economy by 2027.