Kirsty-Louise Hunt, News Editor
Strathclyde is one of five Scottish Universities selected to take part in a multi-million pound deal with five prestigious Max-Planck institutions in Germany, which is expected to boost the future development of new quantum technologies and fundamental science in Scotland.
The initiative will significantly strengthen research links between Scotland and Germany – and enhance Scotland’s reputation as a world leader in fundamental, or ‘discovery’, science that forms the foundations of emerging and future technologies.
The collaboration will lead to the establishment of the world’s first International Max-Planck Partnership (IMPP). This new model will incorporate leading physics research groups from the universities of Glasgow, Strathclyde, St Andrews, Heriot-Watt and Edinburgh with The Max Planck Institute for Gravitational Physics (Albert Einstein Institute) Hannover; the MPI for the Science of Light, Erlangen; the MPI for Quantum Optics, Garching; the MPI for Chemical Physics, Dresden; and the MPI for Solid State Physics, Stuttgart.
Professor Sir Jim McDonald, Principal and Vice-Chancellor of the University of Strathclyde, said: “Strathclyde is delighted to play a vital role in the creation of the world’s first International Max-Planck Partnership, which will bring significant benefits to the scientific community in Scotland and beyond.
“As a leading international technological university with a proud track record of cutting-edge physics research, Strathclyde is ideally-placed to bring its considerable scientific prowess to bear as part of this exciting collaboration with some of the world’s most prestigious research institutions.”
Professor Jim Hough, UK Director of the Partnership, added: “The MOQL Max-Planck Partnership is the first such collaboration of its kind and reflects the strength of the existing research community and infrastructure within Scotland. It will aim to promote new scientific collaborations at the very highest levels and raise the profile of Scottish Science, attracting some of the world’s leading physicists to our institutions.
“It is our aim that the research taking place within the Partnership will form the groundwork for future translational research to develop emerging technologies for market.”
Scotland is already a leading centre for research in quantum technologies. The latest partnership will complement the country’s existing science and engineering research bases, including the new £10 million Centre for Sensors & Imaging Systems (CENSIS) based at the University of Glasgow, which opened in January 2014, and the Fraunhofer Centre for Applied Photonics at the University of Strathclyde.
The IMPP Partnership is supported by funding from the Scottish Funding Council, and a joint grant from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council and the Science & Technology Facilities Council. The Scottish universities involved will also contribute to the initial funding package of up to £10million over five years.