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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/R011257/1
Title: UKCRIC National Linear Infrastructure Laboratory - University of Southampton
Principal Investigator: Richards, Professor DJ
Other Investigators:
Powrie, Professor W
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Faculty of Engineering & the Environment
Organisation: University of Southampton
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 April 2017 Ends: 31 March 2019 Value (£): 15,643,000
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Civil Engineering Materials
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Construction
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
There is an urgent need, and a transformative opportunity, to develop and exploit major advances in scientific understanding (including in the social and environmental sciences), multidisciplinary systems thinking, technological innovation and engineering, and manufacturing methods to adapt and augment the national economic infrastructure in a way that safeguards and enhances its multiple benefits with regard to economic growth, extreme event resilience, social wellbeing, environmental sustainability and export potential. A further research challenge is to understand how all aspects of infrastructure symbiotically serve the evolving needs and ambitions of nations and cities within the UK and elsewhere.

Intervention by way of targeted investment in capital equipment in key universities will enable world-leading research that creates and provides evidence for new paradigms in infrastructure over the next 50 years, reducing the cost of ownership of current and future infrastructure assets. As a result, significant direct & indirect societal and economic benefits will accrue to UK cities and to the country at large, and international commercial opportunities will be created for UK companies.

UKCRIC will address the above shortcomings in a focussed and evidenced-based way, leveraging existing investments in facilities and people to best effect. It will scale up existing research programmes to address near term issues such as investment in rail systems, roads, and flood and water management; and employ smart sensors and systems to generate open and big data for optimising the use of assets and investments. In the longer term, UKCRIC will develop new materials, new techniques and novel technologies. At the highest level, it will understand how to make the system of systems that constitutes the nation's infrastructure more resilient to extreme events and more adaptable to changing circumstances and contexts, and how it can provide services that are more affordable, accessible and useable to the whole population.

UKCRIC will:

i. Build on existing capabilities to establish a network of state-of-the-art large-scale experimental facilities supporting world-leading research in cities and infrastructure;

ii. Establish a unique, national network of local 'urban laboratories' to sense, capture, monitor & evaluate new and existing infrastructure in UK towns and cities;

iii. Establish world-leading computation and big data infrastructure for the modelling, simulation, and visualisation of cities and infrastructure;

iv. Coordinate UK research in cities and infrastructure nationally, promoting collaboration and knowledge sharing between disciplines and across sectors;

v. Amplify and grow existing activity to provide a focus for industrial engagement, knowledge sharing and technology transfer in cities and infrastructure research;

vi. Provide a focus for policy engagement at local, regional and national levels;

vii. Act as a focal point for cities and infrastructure research worldwide, maintaining and extending the UK's knowledge and innovation leadership in the design, planning, delivery, management, and operation of cities and infrastructure.

As a result of these activities, UKCRIC will:

1 Generate new knowledge, technologies and digital solutions that reduce the risk of, and add value to, the very large investments in infrastructure that will have to be made over the next 50 years;

2 Develop innovative solutions, including digital solutions, to infrastructure problems that reduce the cost of ownership of infrastructure and enhance the value of derived services;

3 Radically improve the resilience of infrastructure systems and services against extreme events;

4 Grow and maintain the capacity and capability of infrastructure professionals so as to enhance domestic and global commercial market opportunities.

National [Linear] Infrastructure Laboratory at University of Southampton is part of UKCRIC.
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