Harwell Science and Innovation Campus will become home to a new £180 million science and digitisation centre for the UK’s Natural History Museum, the government has announced in its 2020 Budget.

Harwell Campus is a partnership between the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC), the United Kingdom Atomic Energy Authority, Harwell Oxford Partners and U+I. The new facility will be a world-leading sustainable base for natural sciences research and international collaboration, establishing 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 location of the new facility at Harwell, close to STFC’s Central Laser Facility, ISIS Neutron and Muon Source and the UK’s national synchrotron Diamond Light Source, will open up opportunities to collaborate with the unique science community already based on the campus. The campus is home to a scientific community of over 6,000 people and thrives on its proximity to the UK’s national laboratories managed and developed by STFC.

Open to scientists and researchers from around the world, the new facility will house around 40 percent of the Museum’s collections as well as laboratories, digitisation suites, technology-enabled collaborative research spaces, computing, conservation laboratories and workspaces for digital scholarship. It will be an additional site to the Museum’s existing locations within London and Tring.

STFC Director of National Laboratories Dr Neil Geddes said: “This announcement reinforces just what a unique community exists at Harwell, with dynamic and world-leading science and innovations supported by our facilities and scientists. It reflects the reputation STFC’s Rutherford Appleton Laboratory has built up over many years as one of the UK’s leading research campuses.”

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