Postgraduate training cash for scientists set out

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More than 3,500 postgraduates will be trained in engineering and science under a £350m scheme announced by the government.

The money will go to 70 new "centres for doctoral training" being set up at 24 universities around the UK.

Universities Minister David Willetts says the centres demonstrate strong partnerships between universities, industry and business.

The government says priority was given to the UK's most important sectors.

These include aerospace, pharmaceuticals, medicine and "high-value manufacturing".

The idea is to bring together expertise from universities and industry to train engineers and scientists "to tackle today's evolving issues and future challenges", says the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council, which is allocating the money.

Mr Willetts said: "Scientists and engineers are vital to our economy and society. It is their talent and imagination, as well as their knowledge and skills, that inspire innovation and drive growth across a range of sectors, from manufacturing to financial services.

"I am particularly pleased to see strong partnerships between universities, industry and business among the new centres announced today. This type of collaboration is a key element of our industrial strategy and will continue to keep us at the forefront of the global science race."

Among the universities receiving funding are Imperial College London, University College London and Bristol University, which each have seven centres.

Oxford and Cambridge universities each have six.

The centres will be funded for four years.

One of the centres at Imperial will work to develop new technology for predicting environmental risk, such as that from extreme weather. Another will involve university researchers coming together with people from industry and charities to work on treatments for brain disorders.

The projects at Cambridge include one on nanotechnology and another on the carbon material graphene.

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