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Natural History Museum allocated £180 million for new research centre at Harwell Campus

14:23 16 March in News, Oxfordshire

As part of the 2020 Budget announcement, the Government have pledged £180m over six years to the Natural History Museum to create a brand new science digitisation centre at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus.

The new facility will be a global, sustainable base for high-end natural sciences research and international collaboration. The funding will enable the Museum to safeguard the future of its extremely unique collection of 80 million specimens and create a world-class research centre that will strengthen the UK’s position in tackling global challenges including climate change, resource scarcity, biodiversity loss and emerging diseases. The centre will be open to scientists and researchers from around the world and host approximately 40% of the Museum’s collections. The additional site to the Museums existing locations within London and Tring will include laboratories, digitisation suites, technology-enabled collaborative research spaces, computing, conservation laboratories and workspaces for digital scholarship.

The investment reflects the governments commitment to spend 2.4% GDP on research development and to deliver the UKRI (UK Research and Innovation) Infrastructure Road Map.

“Locating to Harwell Campus will bring together two world-class science and innovation networks and will enable collaborative research, whilst generating new jobs. Harwell continues to boost economies, not only locally but on a national and global scale. The government choosing to invest here highlights Harwell’s national status as a centre of excellence.”

Paul Britton, CEO, Thames Valley Chamber of Commerce


“We are delighted with this endorsement from the Government in recognising the quality and relevance of our scientific research and support for our globally important collections as part of the nation’s science infrastructure. This very welcome investment in R&D will maintain the Museum’s position as a global leader of natural sciences research and create a pioneering facility which will prove invaluable in the worldwide effort to find solutions to the planetary emergency. Enabling major international scientific collaboration, this new facility will generate big data and the application of cutting-edge analysis of the world’s most significant natural history collection.”

Sir Michael Dixon, Natural History Museum Director


“Locating this new centre at Harwell Campus will place the Natural History Museum inside a world-leading science and innovation community, taking full advantage of co-location with the Diamond Light Source, the UK’s Synchrotron, and extending the Museum’s globally significant research for the greater good of the planet and mankind.

“One of the first challenges we would welcome working with the Museum on is food production – to resolve the interconnected human and planetary health pressures.   With the Museum here on Campus we can bolster the many organisations working in this area at Harwell. The Museum’s deep knowledge of the natural world is synergistic with multiple organisations at Harwell Campus.”

Angus Horner, Partner and Director at Harwell Science and Innovation Campus


Read more, HERE.