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Southampton smashes through £100 million mark for annual research grants

Published: 
6 November 2013

The University of Southampton has achieved a major milestone by surpassing the £100M income threshold for research grants and contracts in the year ended 31st July 2013. This is the first time in the University's 60-year history that this important landmark has been reached.

Between 1 January and 30 September 2013, the University won new grants and contracts worth a combined value of £118M - nearly 30% higher than the amount of awards received during the same time period in 2012.

Research councils are the prominent funders of research for Southampton with the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council providing the largest amount of new awards to date this year (£39.1M) followed by the Economic and Social Research Council (£12M). The highest portfolio of awards outside of research councils so far comes from the European Commission (£14M).

“Our income last year at over £100 million indicates the importance of our research to our sponsors and partners. The scale of the new awards and the fiercely competitive environment in which they have been won shows the University powering forward. These are very significant indicators of the University’s research strength, not just in financial terms, but perhaps more importantly in terms of the impact that research will make in our own community, in our own country and around the world,” said Professor Philip Nelson, University Pro Vice-Chancellor (Research).

He continues, “Southampton’s excellent reputation across a wide range of research subjects – from archaeology and electronics to medicine and health sciences to sustainable energy – is reflected in the increasing amounts of funding we receive each year to help solve some of the world’s biggest challenges.”

Amongst some of the more significant awards received by the University recently are:

  • Health researchers received £9M from the National Institute for Health Research to help tackle some of the country’s most pressing health problems. Working with local NHS partners as part of NIHR CLAHRC Wessex, researchers will help ensure that patients benefit from innovative new treatments and techniques which could revolutionise future health care whilst stimulating the research economy and attracting more research funding in future. £10m has also be contributed by the Wessex health economy which will ensure the work goes even further.
  • Funding worth £7.6M from the ESRC to support the new Administrative Data Research Centre for England to be hosted by Southampton to enable access to information routinely collected by government departments and other agencies (for example, tax, education and health data) to be shared with researchers.
  • EPSRC Programme Grants across projects in software systems, silicon photonics and 3D audio worth £12.6M raising the total of Southampton-led grants to eight with a total value of £44M overall – the third highest portfolio of EPSRC Programme Grants in the UK after Imperial and Cambridge.
  • A £7M share of an £85M UK-wide investment channelled through the EPSRC to support and strengthen research in line with the government’s Eight Great Technologies Fund to drive UK growth. Funding to Southampton will specifically go to develop projects in Robotics and Autonomous systems, Advanced Materials, and Grid-scale energy storage. Southampton is the only University to receive three awards and only two other universities – Imperial and Oxford – received two grants under the scheme.

In addition to these awards, the University has also recently been awarded £10M to support the £130M investment to create world leading engineering research facilities through the UK Research Partnership Investment Fund at our Boldrewood Centre of Engineering Excellence Campus, where the University will be working in partnership with Lloyd’s Register from 2014.

 

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