Maintaining access to a full range of world-class
facilities, either in the UK
or abroad, is vital if the UK is to remain a leading centre of research excellence.
The nature of facilities is evolving, so as well as the traditional large physical
installations, they also increasingly include networked resources. These resources
use advances in information and communications technology to underpin new collaborative
methods of research.
In the UK funding for large facilities and infrastructure is available from the Research Councils, Government Departments, Regional Development Agencies, Devolved Administrations, charities, the private sector, the European Commission and other international bodies. However, a particular source of funding is the
Large Facilities Capital Fund, administered by central Government.
Between February and May 2012 RCUK undertook a consultation inviting views from the community as part of the development of a Capital Investment Roadmap for research and research-led innovation. RCUK received over 300 responses from a wide range of stakeholders. These responses
were used to make sure that priorities for capital investment identified by RCUK are informed by views of those in the wider research and business communities.
The development of the
Roadmap was informed by an External Advisory Group of academics and users drawn from Research Councils existing advisory structures.
The Roadmap is a research-driven interdisciplinary statement, outlining for all stakeholders where capital investment is important to ensure sustainability of the research base in the medium to long term. It forms a backdrop to Research Councils future thinking about where to invest capital, though not in itself constituting a prioritisation for funding.
The Roadmap helps the Research Councils continue to make informed decisions about where to invest capital. It also ensures that stakeholders have a shared understanding about important areas for capital investment and the basis on which Research Council capital investment decisions are made.
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