Grants awarded for robotics and sustainable energy
David Willets, minister for universities and science, has announced the award of £18.3m from Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) funds.
Imperial College London is one of 20 universities across the UK to receive funds for research that has been identified by the government as future drivers of UK growth.
New engineering facilities for developing miniaturised robots for surgery and new types of targeted therapies for patients will be developed in a £4m project led by professor Guang-Zhong Yang, co-director of the college’s Hamlyn Centre for Robotic Surgery.
Medical robotics is one of the fastest growing sectors in the medical devices industry.
The funds will be used to set up a new facility for precision micro-engineering at the Hamlyn Centre. Researchers are expected to experiment with new materials and miniaturised mechanisms for surgical robotics, with a view to achieving faster design and manufacturing lead-times in order to improve accessibilityand cut costs.
“Developing better surgical robots could pave the way for their wider use, which should mean better outcomes for patients,” said Sir Keith O’Nions, Rector & President of Imperial College London.
Meanwhile Professor Nigel Brandon, director of Imperial’s Energy Futures Lab, will lead a group of 10 universities in work to develop new technologies for storing energy captured from low carbon sources.
The £14.3m project will establish a new UK Centre for Grid Scale Storage at the college, working with industry on the search for new types of materials and manufacturing methods for energy storage devices.
“For Britain to get ahead in the global race we have to back emerging technologies and ensure our universities have the latest equipment,” said Willets.