Dice ready to roll with 3.4m

Chemistry research has received a significant boost through grants from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) aimed at funding key areas at risk but important to the UK economy. 

The University of Nottingham has received 3.4 million from the science and innovation awards programme to develop a centre of excellence to bring together chemists and chemical engineers. The centre - Driving Innovation in Chemistry and Chemical Engineering (Dice) - will focus on green chemistry and work in collaboration with the universities of Birmingham, Newcastle, Sheffield and Imperial College. 

'We are trying to bridge what is a real gap in science and engineering in the UK and do things which neither side can do by themselves. We believe that Dice will form the nucleus, attracting other funding, all experts and distinguished foreign visitors,' said Martyn Poliakoff, one of the project leaders at Nottingham. 

The University, which is adding a further 1 million to the project, will be offering joint lectureships in chemistry and chemical engineering. 

Cardiff University has received 4.1m to reinvigorate physical organic chemistry through an international research centre and the appointment of a chair and two lectureships. 

'We aim to be a major player in rebuilding the research in physical organic chemistry and interfacing this initiative with our existing research strengths in synthesis and nanoscience and our new research areas of materials chemistry and biological chemistry,' said Graham Hutchings, head of the University's school of chemistry. 

The awards are jointly funded by the EPSRC and the Higher Education Funding Council for England and the Scottish Higher Education Funding Council.
Karen Harries-Rees