In November NERC announced the award of £2.9 million to the Edinburgh Ion Microprobe Facility (EIMF) as a capital grant to enable the purchase of a new secondary ion mass spectrometer, or 'ion microprobe'. The new instrument will replace the older of the two existing ion microprobes that are run by the laboratory, representing a major investment by NERC to EIMF in support of its role as a UK National Facility well into the next decade.
Accepting the award on behalf of the EIMF and the University, Co-PI of the EIMF, Professor Simon Harley, remarked
"This is a significant achievement for the University and the School of Geosciences, and a triumph for the EIMF, which prepared a compelling case for NERC based on sustained excellence and innovation, demonstration of community need, and synergies with NERC strategic research priorities into the 2020s. The sustained excellence of the EIMF is no accident. It is a result of the vision and leadership provided by Professors Ben Harte and Colin Graham over the first two decades and more of EIMF operation, the commitment, inventiveness and operational expertise of its outstanding staff, and the high standard of peer review by its Steering Group of research proposals submitted to the EIMF."
The installation of the new ion microprobe, a Cameca 7f-Geo, in 2018 will enhance the ability of the EIMF to facilitate ground-breaking and innovative UK and international science. In a separate bid the EIMF has secured £1.15 million recurrent funding from NERC to support UK science community user access for the next five years, ensuring that the potential benefits of the new instrument are fully realised to the advantage of all.