An announcement by the University of Nottingham that it is to invest over £200m into vital research which will bring hundreds of jobs to Nottingham has been welcomed by the City Council.

The university has revealed its Beacons of Excellence programme which represents the largest ever investment into research by the university and will look into key global issues such as securing sustainable food supplies, ending slavery and developing greener transport systems.

The announcement comes as the university, along with Nottingham Trent University, were both awarded gold standard in the Government’s Teaching Excellence Framework – making them two of just 59 universities in the country to attain this level. It means an independent panel of higher education experts have judged that the universities deliver consistently outstanding teaching and learning for their students, representing the highest quality to be found in the UK.

The University of Nottingham’s investment will help transform the university’s impact – even more world-class facilities and equipment will support the capture and delivery of discoveries with real impact. It will also accelerate a commitment to attracting the brightest and best minds through the recruitment of 100 Research Fellows, while creating and strengthening high-performance teams of researchers from across the university.

Welcoming the move, Nottingham City Council’s Deputy Leader, Councillor Graham Chapman, said: “This investment puts Nottingham in the front rank of universities in the world and the research it will fund is of global importance. We see this significantly enhancing the global reputation of the city, bringing new jobs and further interest and investment with it.

“We also hope that this vital work will engage people and businesses in Nottingham.  It’s doubly pleasing that this comes as both of our universities are revealed to have the highest possible teaching standards in the UK. This along with top-flight research should help with graduation retention in the city and we will continue to do all we can to attract new businesses to the city and connect local people with the jobs they bring.”

MP Jo Johnson, Minister of State for Universities, Science, Research and Innovation, said: “With one of the largest research and development investments in the East Midlands, the University of Nottingham is at the forefront of UK innovation, supporting the creation of hundreds of local jobs and pioneering start-ups.

“Through our Industrial Strategy, we will build on these strengths that exist across the country, supporting our world-class scientists and researchers while ensuring the UK’s valuable contribution to solving the world’s greatest challenges continues.”

Professor Sir David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of the University of Nottingham, said: “From the pioneering work of people like Sir Peter Mansfield who developed MRI, to Professor Don Grierson who created the world’s first genetically modified tomato, our University and our people are pioneers of world-changing research.

“It is right the University makes this investment in these six profoundly important areas, building on existing expertise and enabling us to entice world-leading academics and experts to push the boundaries of possibility.”

The six Beacons of Excellence are:

  • Rights Lab — finding solutions to ending modern-day slavery
  • Green Chemicals — the next global industrial revolution
  • Precision Imaging — personalised therapies to transform lives
  • Propulsion Futures — the future of propulsion
  • Smart Industrial Systems — sustainable products for the future
  • Future Food — exploring new ways of feeding the world