Science and Technology Facilities Council

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Science and Technology Facilities Council
UKRI STF Council-Logo Horiz-RGB.png
AbbreviationSTFC
Formation2007
Type Non-departmental public body
Legal statusGovernment agency
PurposeFunding of science research
HeadquartersPolaris House
Location
  • North Star Avenue,
    Swindon,
    SN2 1SZ
Region served
United Kingdom
Executive Chair
Mark Thomson
Main organ
STFC Council
Parent organisation
Website stfc.ukri.org

The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) is a United Kingdom government agency that carries out research in science and engineering, and funds UK research in areas including particle physics, nuclear physics, space science and astronomy (both ground-based and space-based).

Contents

History

The STFC was formed in April 2007 when Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC), the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC), along with the nuclear physics activities of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) were brought under the one umbrella organisation. [1] From 1 November 2016 Brian Bowsher has replaced John Womersley as the CEO of STFC. [2] John Womersley has now moved on to the European Spallation Source as the new Director General. [3] In January 2018, Mark Thomson was announced as the new Executive Chair. [4]

Purpose

Receiving its funding through the science budget from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy (BEIS), STFC's mission is to "To maximise the impact of our knowledge, skills, facilities and resources for the benefit of the United Kingdom and its people" under several heads: [5]

Activities

The STFC is one of Europe's largest multidisciplinary research organisations supporting scientists and engineers worldwide. [9] Through research fellowships and grants, it is responsible for funding research in UK universities, in the fields of astronomy, particle physics, nuclear physics and space science. The STFC operates its own world-class, large-scale research facilities (such as materials research, laser and space science and alternative energy exploration) and provides strategic advice to the UK government on their development. It manages international research projects in support of a broad cross-section of the UK research community and directs, coordinates and funds research, education and training. It is a partner in the UK Space Agency (formerly British National Space Centre or BNSC) providing about 40% of the UK government's expenditure in space science and technology.

Facilities

It helps operate/provide access for UK and international scientists to the following large-scale facilities:

Budget

STFC's budget is allocated annually by the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

For 2015-16 STFC's budget allocation was £529 million. [11]

Knowledge exchange obligations

STFC is active in its responsibility for knowledge exchange from government funded civil science into UKPLC. As such, many technologies are licensed to UK companies and spin-out companies created including:

However knowledge exchange activities are not purely limited to commercialization of technologies, but also cover a wider range of activities which aim to transfer expertise into the wider economy.

See also

Related Research Articles

Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils

The Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC) was a UK government body that carried out civil research in science and engineering.

Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council

The Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC) was one of a number of research councils in the United Kingdom. It directed, coordinated and funded research in particle physics and astronomy for the people of the UK. Its head office was at Polaris House in Swindon, Wiltshire, but it also operated three scientific sites: the UK Astronomy Technology Centre in Edinburgh, the Isaac Newton Group of Telescopes (ING) in La Palma and the Joint Astronomy Centre (JAC) in Hawaii. It published the Frontiers magazine three times a year, containing news and highlights of the research and outreach programmes it supports.

The Science and Engineering Research Council (SERC) and its predecessor the Science Research Council (SRC) were the UK agencies in charge of publicly funded scientific and engineering research activities, including astronomy, biotechnology and biological sciences, space research and particle physics, between 1965 and 1994.

Rutherford Appleton Laboratory

The Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) is one of the national scientific research laboratories in the UK operated by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC). It began as the Rutherford High Energy Laboratory, merged with the Atlas Computer Laboratory in 1975 to create the Rutherford Lab; then in 1979 with the Appleton Laboratory to form the current laboratory.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) is a British Research Council that provides government funding for grants to undertake research and postgraduate degrees in engineering and the physical sciences, mainly to universities in the United Kingdom. EPSRC research areas include mathematics, physics, chemistry, artificial intelligence and computer science, but exclude particle physics, nuclear physics, space science and astronomy. Since 2018 it has been part of UK Research and Innovation, which is funded through the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy.

ISIS Neutron and Muon Source English physics research facility

The ISIS Neutron and Muon Source is a pulsed neutron and muon source, established 1984 at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory of the Science and Technology Facilities Council, on the Harwell Science and Innovation Campus in Oxfordshire, United Kingdom. It uses the techniques of muon spectroscopy and neutron scattering to probe the structure and dynamics of condensed matter on a microscopic scale ranging from the subatomic to the macromolecular.

George Ernest Kalmus, CBE, FRS is a noted British particle physicist.

Research Councils UK

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Daresbury Laboratory

Daresbury Laboratory is a scientific research laboratory based at Sci-Tech Daresbury campus near Daresbury in Halton, Cheshire, England. The laboratory began operations in 1962 and was officially opened on 16 June 1967 as the Daresbury Nuclear Physics Laboratory by the then Prime Minister of United Kingdom, Harold Wilson. It is operated by the Science and Technology Facilities Council, part of UK Research and Innovation. As of 2018, it employs around 300 staff, with Professor Susan Smith appointed as director in 2012.

Atlas Computer Laboratory

The Atlas Computer Laboratory on the Harwell, Oxfordshire campus shared by the Harwell Laboratory was one of the major computer laboratories in the world, which operated between 1961 and 1975 to provide a service to British scientists at a time when powerful computers were not usually available. The main user population was the UK Universities and some government agencies.

Harwell Science and Innovation Campus Science and technology campus near the villages of Harwell and Chilton, Oxfordshire, England

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Keith Mason (scientist)

Keith Mason was, until 1 November 2011, the Chief Executive of the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) of the United Kingdom. He assumed the post on 1 April 2007 after the merger of the Council for the Central Laboratory of the Research Councils (CCLRC) and the Particle Physics and Astronomy Research Council (PPARC), having previously been chief executive of PPARC.

CHARISSA

CHARISSA is a nuclear structure research collaboration originally conceived, initiated and partially built by Dr. William Rae of the University of Oxford (retired) and now run by the School of Physics and Astronomy at the University of Birmingham, UK. The other members of the collaboration are the University of Surrey with occasional contributions from LPC CAEN and Ruđer Bošković Institute, Zagreb. The collaboration is funded by the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC).

Neutron research facility

A neutron research facility is most commonly a big laboratory operating a large-scale neutron source that provides thermal neutrons to a suite of research instruments. The neutron source usually is a research reactor or a spallation source. In some cases, a smaller facility will provide high energy neutrons using existing neutron generator technologies.

The United Kingdom Space Agency (UKSA) is an executive agency of the Government of the United Kingdom, responsible for the United Kingdom's civil space programme. It was established on 1 April 2010 to replace the British National Space Centre (BNSC) and took over responsibility for government policy and key budgets for space exploration; it represents the United Kingdom in all negotiations on space matters. The Agency "[brings] together all UK civil space activities under one single management". It is based at the former BNSC headquarters in Swindon, Wiltshire.

NINA was a particle accelerator located at Daresbury Laboratory, UK that was used for particle physics and synchrotron radiation.

GridPP is a collaboration of particle physicists and computer scientists from the United Kingdom and CERN. They manage and maintain a distributed computing grid across the UK with the primary aim of providing resources to particle physicists working on the Large Hadron Collider (LHC) experiments at CERN. They are funded by the UK's Science and Technology Facilities Council. The collaboration oversees a major computing facility called the Tier1 at the Rutherford Appleton Laboratory (RAL) along with the four Tier 2 organisations of ScotGrid, NorthGrid, SouthGrid and LondonGrid. The Tier 2s are geographically distributed and are composed of computing clusters at multiple institutes.

Andrew Dawson Taylor is director of the Science and Technology Facilities Council National Laboratories – Rutherford Appleton Laboratory, Daresbury Laboratory, and the UK Astronomy Technology Centre in Edinburgh.

John Simpson (British nuclear physicist) British nuclear physicist

John Simpson is a British nuclear physicist. He is known for his work in gamma-ray spectroscopy and detector design. He was Head of Technology, Division of Technology Department. and was Head of the Nuclear Physics Group at STFC Daresbury Laboratory. He is a Visiting Professor of Physics at the University of Liverpool.

References

  1. House of Commons Science and Technology Committee (2007). Office of Science and Innovation: Scrutiny Report 2005 and 2006. ISBN   978-0-215-03350-5.
  2. "Dr Brian Bowsher - Science and Technology Facilities Council". www.stfc.ac.uk. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  3. Source, ESS - European Spallation (12 May 2016). "ESS Appoints Next Director General". ESS. Retrieved 21 December 2016.
  4. "New STFC Executive Chair announced - Science and Technology Facilities Council". www.stfc.ac.uk. 22 January 2018.
  5. "STFC Corporate Strategy 2010 – 2020". STFC Corporate Strategy 2010 – 2020. STFC. September 2010. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  6. 1 2 "House of Commons - Astronomy and Particle Physics: Government and Science and Technology Facilities Council Responses to the Committee's Fourth Report of - Science and Technology Committee". www.publications.parliament.uk. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  7. "Science & Technology Facilities Council | Sci-Tech Daresbury". www.sci-techdaresbury.com. Archived from the original on 24 September 2015. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  8. "stfc | BU Research Blog". blogs.bournemouth.ac.uk. Retrieved 2 November 2015.
  9. Taylor, A.; Dunne, M.; Bennington, S.; Ansell, S.; Gardner, I.; Norreys, P.; Broome, T.; Findlay, D.; Nelmes, R. (2007). "A Route to the Brightest Possible Neutron Source?". Science. 315 (5815): 1092–1095. Bibcode:2007Sci...315.1092T. doi:10.1126/science.1127185. ISSN   0036-8075. PMID   17322053. S2CID   42506679.
  10. "UK Team looking for ripples in Space". News, Events and Publications. STFC. Retrieved 28 November 2015.
  11. "Science and research budget allocations for financial year 15/16, Department for Business, Innovation & Skills" (PDF). Gov.UK. gov.uk. September 2014. Retrieved 2 November 2015.