UK future science leaders set for £113m boost to push ideas from lab to reality

Some 97 ideas designed to tackle major global issues will benefit from a share of Government funding.

A project to develop four-legged robots that could assist British farmers is among 97 innovations set to receive a share of £113 million to help turn their ideas into reality.

The Government funding is aimed at supporting the UK’s future science leaders working on ways to tackle major global issues, such as new therapies to fight chronic illnesses and unlocking the secrets of naturally occurring batteries.

Dr Dimitrios Kanoulas from University College London, is one of the beneficiaries. He is building RoboHike robots to navigate through difficult terrain, for construction and agriculture, as well as at the scene of natural disasters.

Dr Yujiang Wang from Newcastle University is also being backed for a system that uses long-term brain recordings and combines them with wearable environmental sensors, to capture and analyse fluctuations in epileptic seizures.

Her work aims to gain a better understanding of how seizure activity and severity varies case by case.

“We are putting science and innovation at the heart of our efforts to build back better from the pandemic, empowering our scientific leaders of tomorrow to drive forward game-changing research that could improve all our lives and boost the UK economy,” said Science Minister Amanda Solloway.

“Supported by £113 million, the Future Leaders Fellowships will equip our most inventive scientists and researchers across the country with the tools to develop and bring their innovations to market quickly.

The funding forms part of the Government’s commitment to increase public spending in research and development by £22 billion by 2024 to 2025.

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