NEWS15 May 2023

UKRI provides £103m for research infrastructure

Innovations News Public Sector Technology UK

UK – UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) has invested £103m in upgrading the UK’s research infrastructure, including supporting the country’s digital research infrastructure and funding for a digital heritage centre in Liverpool.


UKRI said that the £103m funding support includes £79.3m as part of an earlier £150m announcement to address the impacts of the ongoing delay in UK association to the EU’s Horizon Europe programme.

The rest of the funding comprises £23.7m as part of a £370m funding stream to invest in science and technology.

The funding programme includes £18.7m increased investment to improve research and development capabilities, improve the visibility and resilience of practice-led research sectors within the arts and humanities, and to support the UK’s creative and cultural economy.

One of the projects to receive support from the UKRI is the University of Liverpool’s UK Digital Heritage Centre, which will help fund facilities that preserve, promote and protect cultural heritage through technologies such as artificial intelligence (AI), blockchain and the metaverse.

Other projects include the Shared Hub for Immersive Future Technologies, which will deliver new facilities that bring together artist-researchers across film, sound and performance to explore the potential in the latest immersive tools and technologies at the University of Greenwich.

Digital research infrastructure will be granted £8.7m, including £6.7m for an integrated supercomputing facility used for research in particle physics and astronomy and £2m towards the National High-Performance Computing facilities, ISAMBARD, which is led out of University of Bristol and run in partnership with Cray Inc, the Met Office and the GW4 alliance.

Science and technology secretary Chloe Smith said: “Our world-class science and technology sectors are the engine room for growth in the UK economy, and the basis for scientific and technological advancements that will improve everyone’s lives.

“These sectors need continued, concerted and concentrated backing from the government and I am determined to provide it during my time as science and technology secretary, through funding such as this, which will ensure our world class labs have the infrastructure and equipment to match their status.”

Professor Christopher Smith, UKRI international champion, said: “This crucial support for UK research infrastructure is part of the package of support provided by government so that our research and innovation communities can carry on with their essential work notwithstanding the delay to association with Horizon Europe.

“The investments, made across the UK, will provide UK researchers with advanced equipment, facilities and technology, and help maintain the UK’s position as a leader in research and innovation.

“This support will ensure the UK is an attractive place for scientists, researchers and entrepreneurs to live, work and innovate.”