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Infront aircraftJo Johnson, minister of state for universities, science, research & innovation, officially opened the Cranfield University / NCAS Centre for Atmospheric & Emissions Research yesterday (02/02/2017). 

The £3m research hub - the result of joint investment from NERC, the National Centre for Atmospheric Science (NCAS) and Cranfield University - provides a collaborative space for advanced research, and will be home to Cranfield's Centre for Atmospheric Informatics & Emissions Technology (CAIET) and the Facility for Airborne Atmospheric Measurements (FAAM). Universities & science minister, Jo Johnson, said:

"Climate change and reducing emissions is one of the most important challenges of our time, and the UK takes a proud leadership role in fostering positive action. Greater knowledge and the development of new technologies is crucial to this. This investment is a prime example of the projects our industrial strategy will support - enabling UK scientists to carry out pioneering work that will ensure the UK remains at the forefront of climate change science and leads an international effort to improve the environment for future generations."

SDM PG JJ AWNERC investment has ensured this will be a centre of international excellence which will allow both Cranfield and FAAM to collaborate. NCAS involvement highlights the significance for the UK of atmospheric science, with Met Office scientists also based here. Cranfield University's airport is also home to FAAM's iconic atmospheric research aircraft.

NERC's chief executive, Professor Duncan Wingham, said:

"This collaboration builds on NERC's existing investments in the national capability provided by NCAS and the unique airborne laboratory FAAM, aiming to advance our understanding of how emissions contribute to impacts on our planet and its inhabitants - be these air pollution, climate change or ozone depletion. I look forward to seeing this exciting endeavour develop in the years to come."

Sir Peter Gregson, chief executive and vice-chancellor of Cranfield, said:

"The centre is the latest in a series of world-class facilities on campus, and is the result of multi-agency collaboration. The centre heralds a new era in climate and atmospheric understanding."

Whilst in Cranfield the Science Minister Jo Johnson also announced that Professor Sir Mark Walport has been appointed as Chief Executive Designate of UK Research and Innovation (UKRI), leading on the establishment of UKRI and ensuring it plays a central role at the heart of the Industrial Strategy.

Following his appointment Sir Mark will now work closely with the UKRI Chair Sir John Kingman and the research and innovation communities across the UK to shape the new organisation over the coming months, delivering on the Industrial Strategy proposals for investing in science, research and innovation in the UK.