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SPHERE project wins MRC award

27 October 2016

Bristol is one of six universities to receive a Momentum award from the Medical Research Council (MRC) to develop the UK’s research base in dementia science.

The Momentum awards, totalling £4.3 million, are designed to support the UK Dementia Research Institute (DRI), and will help open new research avenues which could transform the potential of dementia research in the UK.

The interdisciplinary award recognises the University’s EPSRC-funded SPHERE project (Sensor Platform for Healthcare in a Residential Environment), which will develop novel computational approaches to analyse behaviour and derive ‘signatures’ relevant to dementia based on health-related behaviours at home. This work will be supported by the University’s strengths in neuroscience and population health, alongside the recruitment of a 'rising’ star to lead the project.

The other recipients are the universities of Cardiff, Edinburgh, Manchester and Oxford, and King’s College London.

Further information

The Momentum awards represent the first steps in establishing the capabilities for the DRI, which is being funded through a combined investment of £250 million from the MRC and the founding charity partners, the Alzheimer’s Society and Alzheimer’s Research UK. The DRI is expected to be up and running by 2019.

Each award will enhance overall dementia research capacity in the UK and, crucially, will accelerate the recruitment of research leaders and ‘rising stars’ from both within and outside of the UK. The funding will also help current researchers develop promising connections between different research disciplines to bring new understanding to the field, as well as exploit emerging scientific opportunities and explore new approaches to fight the disease.

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