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Midlands Innovation universities welcome investment into NMR capabilities

The Midlands region has been propelled to the forefront of the UK’s Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) capability, thanks to a £20m investment across UK institutions from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Four of the total eight investments, including the two highest specification machines, have been gifted to Midlands Innovation universities, with the University of Warwick receiving the UK’s first solid state NMR 1.0 GHz system, and the University of Birmingham receiving a 1.0 GHz spectrometer solution state system. Both the Universities of Leicester and Nottingham are receiving upgrades to existing 800 MHz systems.

The investment in very high and ultra-high field Nuclear Magnetic Resonance (NMR) spectroscopy was unveiled at the official launch of UK Research and Innovation in London. NMR is a key technique that has impact across a wide span of science, from materials science to medicine.

The funding was coordinated by EPSRC and also comes from three other research councils: BBSRC, MRC and NERC, who have supported the funding.

The investment means that the Midlands region is now the most well-equipped in the UK in terms of NMR capabilities.

Professor Stuart Croft, Chair of the Midlands Innovation Board and Vice-Chancellor and President of the University of Warwick, said, “I’m delighted that this investment from EPSRC recognises the potential that our region has to contribute significant research to the fields of healthcare, academia and industry. The Midlands Innovation Partnership of Universities is already world-leading in its NMR capabilities, and I look forward to seeing the exciting advances that the new and improved facilities will bring.”

Professor David Adams, Chair of Midlands Health Innovation, and Pro-Vice-Chancellor, Head of College of Medical and Dental Sciences and Dean of Medicine at the University of Birmingham, said, “The aim of this investment is to establish a national network of NMR provision at a range of very-high and ultra-high fields. I am delighted that the Midlands is at the heart of this network and look forward to seeing the results of the cutting-edge research that these facilities will enable.”

Notes to editors

Midlands Innovation is a world-class research and innovation partnership, combining the collective excellence of eight leading universities in the heart of the UK – Aston, Birmingham, Cranfield, Keele, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick. It unites the power of university research with the unique strengths of Midlands industry to drive cutting-edge research, innovation and skills development.

Midlands Health Innovation combines the world-leading Medical strengths of 7 research intensive universities based in the Midlands - Aston, Birmingham, Keele, Leicester, Loughborough, Nottingham and Warwick. By driving pioneering research and building strong industry collaborations, within a joint academic-NHS innovation environment, MHI aims to position the cutting-edge Medical and Health-based innovations produced across the Midlands at the forefront of the UK.

Sat 09 June 2018, 17:03