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The Year Ahead for Physical Sciences, Engineering and the Environment

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A version of this article first appeared on Research Professional 08/01/2019 

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) and the Natural Environment Research Council (NERC) will be announcing their priorities for the next five years in spring – so definitely worth keeping an eye on their websites!

Materials scientist Alison Davenport will report to the STFC this year on a review of the council’s consolidated grants, which account for £100m that the council awards annually in research grants each year.

Aerospace companies competing for a £92 million government contract to carry out a feasibility study on home-grown replacements for the EU’s Galileo Satellite Navigation System will find out if they are successful early this year. The UK is set to stop using Galileo for defense and critical national infrastructure after Brexit.

The NERC’s polar research ship (The RRS Sir David Attenborough) will be undergoing a year of sea trials before before it’s polar expeditions begin in 2020.

In the first few months of 2019 the government will review the implementation of the sector deals on automotive, artificial intelligence, aerospace and nuclear industries.

The year will close with a crucial meeting for UK space with the science minister and representatives from the UK Space Agengy attending the council meeting of the European Space Agency in November – the members will be tasked with setting funding levels.

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