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UK research institute gets £220m funding

The UK government has approved £220m of funding for the new Centre for Medical Research and Innovation (UKCMRI)

Following a final business case from the Medical Research Council, the UK government has approved £220m of funding, announced as part of the coalition government's Comprehensive Spending Review in October 2010, for the new Centre for Medical Research and Innovation (UKCMRI).  

The institute will bring the UK's best physical, biomedical and clinical scientists from across other centres of excellence together ensuring the fast and effective transition of advances in biomedical sciences into both patient and economic benefits.

Separately, government funding  for the European Life-Science Infrastructure for Biological Information (ELIXIR) project, which aims to improve facilities for storing and accessing the increasing amount of bio-molecular research data expected to be used for the development of future treatments has also been 'earmarked' by the government subject to ministerial approval of a full business case and availability of funds.

Commenting on the announcement, Prime Minister David Cameron said: "The UK's science and research sector is world class and one that we can be very proud of. 

"A strong research base is absolutely crucial to help secure long term economic growth, helping to rebalance the economy and creating the jobs of the future, which is why despite some tough spending decisions we have protected its funding.

"We have some of the best scientists, excellent facilities and cutting edge technology, and it is our determination that we do all that we can to ensure the UK remains one of the world leaders in this field for many years to come."

Construction of the UKCMRI, which will occupy 3.6 acres of land in the London Borough of Camden, is due to begin in May 2011 and will be completed by 2015. The institute will employ 1,500 staff, including 1,250 scientists and will have an annual budget of over £100m.

David Cameron is due to meet the Council for Science and Technology (CST), the UK Prime Minister's top-level advisory body on science and technology policy issues, at Downing Street today (February 9).  

The government's chief scientific advisor Sir John Beddington, who co-chairs the Council with Professor Dame Janet Finch; the director of the Wellcome Trust Sir Mark Walport; venture capitalist Dr Hermann Hauser; and the presidents of the Royal Society (Sir Paul Nurse), the Academy of Medical Sciences (Sir John Bell) and the British Academy (Professor Sir Adam Roberts), are all part of the Council and will be present at the meeting. The theme will be science and research as drivers of economic growth and social benefit.

9th February 2011

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