Research into improving energy storage, reducing power consumption and developing new energy-efficient devices received a boost with the announcement of £10m funding for new equipment at the University of Cambridge.
This funding will be vitally important in terms of enabling what we do with advanced materials to be enhanced both in terms of upstream university work but also in its industrial applicationProfessor Sir Richard Friend
The new funding is part of a £128million Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) investment in the Sir Henry Royce Institute for Advanced Materials, which comprises seven partner Universities including Manchester, Oxford and Imperial College London.
Cambridge’s award will enable the University to purchase additional equipment to support its leadership of the Royce Institute’s Materials for Energy Efficient Information and Communications Technology initiative. This will focus on improving energy storage technologies, reducing power consumption and developing new materials and devices able to harness energy from the environment.
The new equipment will enable Cambridge researchers to fabricate new energy-efficient devices, such as batteries and solar cells, and to undertake the advanced characterisation of materials and machines. These techniques will, in turn, help to hasten the development of energy technologies that are safer and more efficient, including longer-life phone batteries and electric cars with extended ranges .
Much of the Royce Equipment will be housed within the Maxwell Centre, in the Cavendish Laboratory (Department of Physics), which is famous for the discovery of the structure of DNA (Crick and Watson), but brings together researchers from Engineering, Materials Science and Chemistry
Professor Sir Richard Friend, Director of the Maxwell Centre and Cambridge’s Cavendish Professor of Physics, welcomed the announcement, pointing to the support it would offer researchers in co-ordinating work across the University’s departments, maximising the opportunities for multidisciplinary collaboration.
Professor Friend added: “This funding will be vitally important in terms of enabling what we do with advanced materials to be enhanced both in terms of upstream university work but also in its industrial application.”
The EPSRC funding will be distributed across the Institute’s seven partners to support investments in new equipment and infrastructure. In turn, these new facilities will enable the Institute to accelerate the design of advanced materials and explore their possible applications, including their use in existing and emerging industrial sectors within the UK.
Focused on promoting translation from discovery to application, the Royce Institute will play a major role in driving forward key elements of the Government’s industrial strategy, which lays a particular emphasis on enhancing the commercialisation of the UK’s world-leading basic research.