LDA: The London Development Agency’s planning for decentralised energy throughout London, incorporating the London Heat Map, has been commended at this year’s Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI) awards. The work combines engagement, training, planning advice, technical support and commercial analysis to help London boroughs deliver decentralised energy schemes and create a thriving market for heat. The programme provides guidance for planning policy & development management and a heat infrastructure tariff model.
OS: Ordnance Survey has donated a prize-winning, giant floor map of Great Britain to INTECH Science Centre in Winchester. The MaxiMap is a huge 20sqm map of Britain, designed to be walked & played on, with the aim of exciting children about geography, teaching concepts like scale & distance and the impacts of climate change.
The giant floor map, which is worth in the region of £300, is being donated by OS to INTECH so that it can be enjoyed by the tens of thousands of schools pupils who visit the centre every year. The map is the brainchild of former teacher Ann Jones and her business partner Rowena Wells. Last year they won OS’s GeoVation Challenge, earning them an £11,000 with which they have developed their MaxiMap idea.
BIS: The UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation (UKCMRI) has received a further boost following Government approval of the Medical Research Council’s business case for the institute. The institute will foster collaboration with other centres of excellence and bring this country’s best physical, biomedical and clinical scientists together. This will help ensure that advances in biomedical sciences are translated swiftly & effectively into benefits for patients & the economy.
The Government has also ‘earmarked’ funding to improve facilities for storing & accessing the rapidly increasing amount of bio-molecular research data that is expected to be used in the development of future treatments. By earmarking these funds, the Government considers the project is ready to progress to detailed appraisal.
The European Life-Science Infrastructure for Biological Information (ELIXIR) project would significantly increase the quality & quantity of information readily available to researchers in genomics & systems biology and ensure it is catalogued & stored in a standardised format, building on the UK’s leading international standing.
Press release ~ UK Centre for Medical Research and Innovation (UKCMRI) ~ European Life-Science Infrastructure for Biological Information (ELIXIR) project
HMT: The Chancellor of the Exchequer, George Osborne, has announced that £10m of funding will be allocated to support the early phases of superfast broadband in Wales. The funding will help to deliver the roll out of Next Generation Broadband in Pwllheli & surrounding areas of North Wales as part of the Welsh Assembly Govt's national delivery plan for all of Wales.
The Spending Review 2010 announced that £530m will be invested over the Spending Review period to support the UK's broadband network and to incentivise the roll out of superfast broadband in areas that the private sector would not otherwise reach. This £10m is just the first wave of funding that Wales will receive.
ScotGov: A new Scottish Energy Laboratory (SEL) was launched last week to strengthen collaboration across 50 energy research, test & demonstration facilities and underpin Scotland's leading position in low carbon energy development.
The SEL will be a 'virtual' hub for national & international companies to identify & access the most appropriate of Scotland's test & demonstration assets for their technologies. This asset network has a combined investment value of some £250m across all key energy sectors and includes the European Marine Energy Centre in Orkney, the Hydrogen Office in Fife and the European Offshore Wind Development Centre in Aberdeen, which recently secured a €40m grant from the European Union.
Press release ~ Scottish Energy Lab ~ Scottish Energy Advisory Board ~ European Marine Energy Centre ~ Hydrogen Office ~ European Offshore Wind Development Centre
STFC: The European Space Agency seeks entrepreneurs with innovative ideas for using space technology, applications & services in a non-space environment. ESA Business Incubation Centres (ESA BICs) can assist you in getting your project off the ground by providing technical expertise and business development support.
CLG: Housing Minister, Grant Shapps, has confirmed that 2 leading bodies in design are to merge their activities on design for housing. Ministers plan to expand the Design Council by bringing in some of the activities, skills, knowledge & expertise from the Commission for Architecture and the Built Environment to create a one-stop shop, providing a service to industry, councils and local communities.
STFC: Using the unique capabilities of STFC’s ULTRA laser system, scientists from the University of Bristol have been able to watch a chemical reaction happening in solution with more detail than ever before. This could lead to improved drug design for medical therapies and catalysts for industrial processing, plus paving the way for further applications in bio- and atmospheric chemistry.
Press release ~ Vibrationally Quantum-State–Specific Reaction Dynamics of H Atom Abstraction by CN Radical in Solution
WAG: As part of the Welsh Assembly Government’s Youth Engagement and Employment Action Plan, Education Minister, Leighton Andrews, has launched launched a new £900,000 pilot scheme to help young people aged 16 to 17 into employment.
The scheme is part of the Intermediate Labour Market Programme (ILM), and will offer 180 employment opportunities in Communities First areas in parts of South & West Wales, for a 6 month period.
Press release ~ Youth Engagement and Employment Action Plan ~ Skills and Training ~ Communities First
TfL: Transport for London (TfL) is continuing in its commitment to deliver more than 2,500 apprentices across the Capital's transport infrastructure working in partnership with its contractors & the London boroughs.
One beneficiary of TfL's apprenticeship programme has been the Mayor's flagship Barclays Cycle Hire scheme, which has 24 new mechanical apprentices as well as 133 recruits who were not previously in employment. A short film has been produced showcasing the positive impact of apprentices on the scheme.
MoD: Defence Estates has announced its future commercial plans for UK military housing from 2013, unveiling a new single contract for the provision of all housing-related services to the Armed Forces and their families. The new National Housing Prime contract will provide repairs & maintenance to more than 49,000 UK military homes, grounds maintenance and housing construction projects up to a value of £3.93m.