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UK research facilities outline future fears

Managers of publicly funded research facilities have told UK Research and Innovation that they fear the impact of Brexit and a shortage of funding, personnel and skills.

The umbrella funding agency’s initial analysis of research and innovation facilities in the UK has identified 712 infrastructures of national or international significance and a further 43 of regional significance, ranging from the Software Sustainability Institute in Edinburgh to the UK’s polar research ships. In a report published this month, which draws on questionnaires completed by more than 800 infrastructure managers, UKRI highlights three barriers to maximising the benefits of these infrastructures.

The majority of respondents said they were concerned about future funding, including its short-term nature and the potential loss of European Union funds after Brexit. According to UKRI, infrastructures have increasingly become more complex and costly. More than half of the facilities analysed rely on public funding to cover at least 70 per cent of their costs. 

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