Strategic Technical Platform Projects

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More training and development opportunities for research technical professionals (RTPs) are being unlocked, thanks to £16m of funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) Digital Research Infrastructure (DRI).

Eleven UK-wide projects will provide additional skills to improve the long-term career prospects for RTPs. We are collaborating with EPSRC to share best practice and knowledge exchange, via the UK Technology Specialists Network (TSN).

Research Technical Professional working on transmission electron microscope
Nurturing specialists

Collectively, these projects offer a range of interdisciplinary platforms that will nurture specialists applying these skills to scientific and engineering challenges, and provide systematic support to the RTP community.

Their work will include both physical and digital training and development in UK universities that has a strategic regional or national focus, and is based around a group of institutions or a particular scientific field or technology.

Strategic Technical Platform Projects

All 11 projects will benefit from EPSRC’s extensive experience in supporting:

  • research software engineers
  • data wrangling
  • facility managers
  • equipment specialists
  • community development
National Platform for RTPs on AI for Science and Engineering (NPRAISE)

Establish a national and interdisciplinary platform that nurtures a community of RTPs who specialise in developing and applying AI to scientific and engineering challenges by providing:

  • training
  • support
  • development opportunities
  • advocacy

Led by: Jeyan Thiyagalingam, Science and Technologies and Facilities Council (STFC) laboratories.


The STEP-UP platform is a project to develop digital RTPs and the support ecosystem needed for this.

Led by: Jeremy Cohen, Imperial College London

People in data

Will convene a community of data professionals across the UK to encourage knowledge sharing, build capacity through centralising and developing training resources and work as a community to support and professionalise specialist data science roles.

Led by: Ann-Marie Mallon, The Alan Turing Institute

UK Robotics and Autonomous Systems Strategic Technical Platform (UKRAS-STEPS)

Provides academic and administrative leadership to help transform the UK’s RAS research landscape, bringing the community together, strengthening areas of national importance and creating stronger links between:

  • academia
  • industry
  • government funding bodies

Led by: Robert Richardson, University of Leeds

Meet Future Needs of Antenna Measurements and Radio Frequency Characterization for Changing Research Culture (MUSCAT)

MUSCAT will boost the number of RTPs with the key technical skill sets essential to meet the needs of the wireless infrastructure strategy, the UK science and technology framework by 2030, and the upcoming surge in wireless technological advancements.

Led by: Max Munoz, Queen Mary University London

Developing technical capability and capacity for UK secure data environments

Will work to attract individuals who want to apply technical skills to a societal cause at different career stages and build a community of RTPs across the north-west of England. Will also work to provide at least six short-term student placements for those studying on undergraduate or masters programmes in relevant subjects.

Led by: Philip Couch, The University of Manchester

Development of a national facility and technical training hub for ‘biomolecule engineering’

This project will unite a collaborative team of internationally recognised RTPs with wide-ranging expertise in the area of biomolecule engineering, across the fields of biology, chemistry, automation and computation, and develop a national facility and technical training hub.

Led by: Derren Heyes, The University of Manchester

RTP-led national technical platform for materials innovation

This RTP-led national technical platform will empower the RTP community working in materials innovation and associated manufacturing technology through training, development and professional networking opportunities, as well as working to increase the visibility of RTPs and break down barriers between silos.

Led by: Tony Horner, The University of Manchester

Delivering knowledge, skills and opportunities to RTPs nationally leveraging the UK Technology Specialist Network (TSN)

Will provide the TSN and wider RTP community with access to training and development activities that are complementary to those existing through projects such as TALENT, WASC and the recently launched UK Institute for Technical Skills and Strategy.

Led by: Ian Hancox, University of Warwick

Technical Platform for Innovation and Knowledge Exchange (T-PIKE)

T-PIKE will provide training, secondment and placement programme for technicians that give them the knowledge and experience to engage fully with industry. It will also provide entry-level opportunities that will bring new apprentices into the sector, and help ensure that the profession is sustainable.

Led by: Edward Codling, University of Essex


The X-CITED programme will establish a multi-facetted model to create an RTP pipeline. It will ensure that more experienced RTPs realise their full potential for broader societal benefit through their engagement with industry and the next generation of RTPs.

Led by: Anneke Lubben, University of Bath