The Science and Technology facilities Council’s (STFC) Daresbury Laboratory is to host a multi-million pound, national programme designed to boost heritage science across the UK, with the headquarters located at Sci-Tech Daresbury.
Announced today, the Research and Innovation Cluster for Heritage Science (RICHeS), is an £80million programme, funded by the Arts and Humanities Research Council (AHRC).
It is the first strategic, long-term, government-funded programme designed to support heritage science research across the whole of the UK. From archaeology to art and literature through the generations, it will generate new knowledge whilst joining up currently dispersed data and resources for easier access.
UK clusters of excellence
RICHeS will create a network of UK heritage clusters of excellence across the UK, based around access to world leading research facilities and expertise.
These will unlock the potential for heritage assets to contribute to innovation in areas such as:
- Digital twins
- Artificial intelligence
Synergies and opportunities
The RICHeS programme creates a solid synergy with Daresbury Laboratory’s world class skills and research infrastructure, from particle accelerator research to the Hartree Centre's advanced digital technologies and artificial intelligence capabilities.
Additionally, its cutting-edge microscopy facilities will provide vital support for conservation projects, whilst advanced bioimaging techniques will support the dating and authentication of heritage assets, such as paintings.
In the first instance, it will also create eight new jobs on campus, with plans to take office space within Sci-Tech Daresbury’s new Violet development, and which will become the RICHeS headquarters. The campus itself is already home to more than 150 science and technology businesses.
Supporting heritage in the North West
The Daresbury hub will act as a vital support system for heritage research programs both across UK, and particularly for the North West.
It will collaborate closely with academic institutions including the Universities of Liverpool, Manchester, and Lancaster, as well as local museums carrying out cutting edge research, such as at Halton’s Norton Priory.