MI partners secure major investment to train the next generation of researchers

Date posted: April 8, 2024
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Eight Centres of Doctoral Training (CDT’s) from across the Midlands Innovation (MI) partnership have received over £100m in funding to train the researchers of tomorrow in topics of national importance.

Described as the UK’s biggest-ever investment in engineering and physical sciences doctoral skills, the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) are investing more than £1 billion into 65 centres for doctoral training. The funding is from a combination of £500 million from UK Research and Innovation and the Ministry of Defence, and a further £590 million from universities and business partners.

Strengths in sustainability, net zero and advanced manufacturing

Across the eight centres led by Midlands Innovation (MI) partners, there is evident strength in the areas of sustainability and sciences supporting the transition to a net zero economy.  The distinct programmes are set to add several hundred doctoral students to the MI research community working in these fields, building on the critical mass of net zero and sustainability capabilities in the partnership.

Another theme emerging from the MI led centres is advanced manufacturing and engineering, with the Midlands nationally recognised as the manufacturing heartland of the UK. The doctoral centres at the University of Nottingham and University of Birmingham will lead research into decarbonising the manufacturing sector, and the University of Leicester centre will focus on transforming the metals industry with skills in data and artificial intelligence.

Professor Karen Holford CBE FREng, Chair of the Midlands Innovation Board and Chief Executive and Vice-Chancellor of Cranfield University welcomed the announcement: “The strength and relevance of the research we undertake across the Midlands Innovation partnership is demonstrated by the CDTs that have been announced for the Midlands. The new centres will play a central role in tackling the biggest challenges facing our region, nation and world today. This investment significantly strengthens our collective doctoral community and will help to train the future academics, industrialists and innovators that the Midlands and UK needs.”

Dr Helen Turner, Director of Midlands Innovation added: “The injection of funding to these doctoral centres demonstrates the unique expertise of our partners across a number of distinct, but closely related themes. The centres will put us at the forefront of innovations in crucial technologies and will play a critical role in shaping the future of industry and meeting the challenge of reaching net zero.”

Learn more about Midlands Innovation here

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