Engineering and science in the South West has been given a boost, with the news that the University of Bristol and Dyson are among those sharing a £350 million fund to train the next generation of scientists and engineers.
Seven centres for doctoral training (CDTs) will be set up at the university, which also has partnerships in four others, across areas of research and industry pivotal to the regional and national economy.
The seven in Bristol are joined by two at the University of Bath and two at the University of Exeter, along with seven to involve Wiltshire-based Dyson, whose owner, Sir James Dyson, has been a fierce champion of homegrown engineering talent.
Sir James Dyson said: “To compete internationally Britain needs to export world-beating inventions which are the result of intellectual property developed by our companies and universities. We must support British engineers and scientists at all levels, rewarding them properly for their work. This investment is heartening, but genuine research and development takes time. Continuing robust investment is required if we are to see the breakthroughs which will deliver the growth we require.”
They are among more than 70 centres to be set up, across 24 universities, which will train 3,500 postgraduate students. Details of the allocation - to be decided by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, as well as the Medical Research Council and Biotechnology and Biological Sciences Research Council, will be revealed later today by Universities and Science Minister David Willetts.
Mr Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science, said: “Scientists and engineers are vital to our economy and society. It is their talent and imagination, as well as their knowledge and skills that inspire innovation and drive growth across a range of sectors, from manufacturing to financial services.
“I am particularly pleased to see strong partnerships between universities, industry and business among the new centres announced today. This type of collaboration is a key element of our industrial strategy and will continue to keep us at the forefront of the global science race.”
Professor Nishan Canagarajah, Dean of Engineering at Bristol, said: “The large number of CDT awards reflects the excellent research training environment at Bristol and depth of our collaboration with our industrial partners in research and education. With these awards, we will continue to produce the research leaders of the next generation.”