Brexit Britain set to invest heavily as ‘scientific superpower’ status sparks brain gain | Science | News

Since leaving the EU, Prime Minister Boris Johnson has set himself the goal of making the UK a ‘science and technology superpower’ by 2030. Mr Johnson noted that he wants to transform the UK’s success in developing one of the first Covid vaccines and applying those strengths to areas like technology and the energy sector.

The energy sector has come under particular scrutiny following Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, as the UK seeks to boost its energy security through an energy mix of natural gas from North Sea and a strong renewable energy capacity.

Mr Johnson’s ambitions could soon be realized as a group of UK-based universities have come together to develop the Arroll Gibb Innovation Campus (AGIC), which researchers say will lead to the development of thousands of jobs qualified.

This campus aims to serve a range of small and medium-sized companies in the marine, nuclear and energy transition sectors by offering access to the latest industrial techniques and technologies, industrial and tertiary spaces, innovation consulting and Skill developpement.

Commenting on the government’s ‘scientific superpower’ aims, Professor Conchúr Ó Brádaigh, head of the University of Edinburgh’s School of Engineering, told ‘What we want to do is is to turn all this scientific superpower into jobs.

“Science is one thing – I’m an engineer, we use science, we apply science.

“We are the bridge between scientists and companies and we are happy to take scientific ideas from this university and other universities and develop them and apply them to companies that need solutions and want new products and solutions. , especially with regards to trying to achieve net zero.

In one of their first projects, AGIC, which includes Babcock International, University of Edinburgh, University of Strathclyde, Fife College, Fife Council and Scottish Enterprise and Skills Development Scotland, has developed FastBlade, which is the world’s first rapid test facility. for tidal turbine blades.

Researchers believe this facility can accelerate the development of marine energy technologies, such as wind and tidal power, while helping to reduce costs.

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“As other countries don’t have such testing facilities, this will encourage companies to come and do their development work in the UK.”

Scottish Minister Malcolm Offord said: “The UK Government is delighted to support this rapid testing facility with £1.8 million from the EPSRC, as part of UK Research and Innovation.

“This test site, born of groundbreaking research from the University of Edinburgh and engineering firm Babcock, will not only contribute to the UK’s Net Zero ambitions, but will also support thousands of jobs. skilled in the energy sector as we transition to a more sustainable future.”

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