The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Medical Research Council (MRC) are two of the United Kingdom's seven
government funded research councils. Their joint aims are to encourage
and support high quality research and training to meet national needs
in terms of quality of life and economic competitiveness.
Five new Interdisciplinary Research Collaborations (IRCs) are being
established, with funding of over £40 million from the Engineering and
Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Medical Research
Council (MRC). All five centres intend to carry out research that will
mean we can all benefit from rapid advances in information technology-
whether in hospitals, in businesses or in our own homes.
The new IRCs will bring together respected researchers from different
scientific and technical backgrounds to undertake major, six-year,
IT-based research programmes. Twenty
universities and around 45 companies are involved in the new IRCs.
Four of the new IRCs, funded in full by EPSRC, will tackle issues such
as embedding computers into everyday objects and environments;
improving knowledge management to prevent information overload;
developing ultra fast communications using optical technology;
and improving the safety, security and reliability of complex systems
that involve computers, people and organisations.