New R&D centre opens with plan to train 125 apprentices

Yesterday saw the opening of a major new research centre, which will boost innovation as well as training 125 high level apprentices in the coming years.

Science minister Jo Johnson announced the new £15 million centre in Oxfordshire will train 125 apprentices in specialist engineering to help conduct the pioneering research in to clean energy production and robotics.

There are two new facilities at the site in Culham: a £9 million Remote Applications in Challenging Environments (RACE) and the £8 million Material Research Facility, will build on the decades of specialist knowledge developed at the £2.5 billion Joint European Torus (JET) fusion experiment.

RACE will develop advanced robotics which can operate in environments impossible for humans, like inside a fusion reactor, and will also benefit deep sea exploration for oil and gas and support the development of driverless cars.


‘Big step in clean energy research’

Together, the centres will provide the UK Atomic Energy Agency with advanced robots and high-tech materials needed to improve testing of fusion power – key steps towards developing the first fusion power plants and helping the UK achieve its target of at least an 80% reduction in carbon emissions from 1990 to 2050.

Universities and Science Minister Jo Johnson said, “The hard-work of scientists, academics and apprentices here in Culham is a prime example of why the UK is a world-leader in scientific discovery. These new facilities will take the next steps in developing clean fusion energy, and train apprentices to support local businesses and growth.”