The University of Southampton

Universities Minister officially opens the Mountbatten Building

Published: 31 January 2011

The Mountbatten Building was officially declared open last Friday 28 January by the Rt Hon David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science.

During an event postponed from December when it had to be cancelled because of the heavy snow, Mr Willetts unveiled a commemorative plaque in the Mountbatten Atrium, and then toured the facilities in the Southampton Nanofabrication Centre and in the Optoelectronics Research Centre.

He paid tribute to all those who had been involved in the reconstruction of the Mountbatten Building and to the ‘spirit of the University of Southampton’ in ensuring that the new Building is bigger and better than before.

He also announced £7.2M of investment in research that could revolutionize the Internet. Led by Professor David Payne of the Optoelectronics Research Centre, the 'Photonics HyperHighway' project will bring together world-leading scientists from the universities of Southampton and Essex and industry partners, including BBC Research and Development, to pioneer new technologies capable of making broadband internet 100 times faster.

The six-year project, funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), will look at the way fibre optics are used, and develop new materials and devices to increase internet bandwidth. This will ensure that the Web can cope with rising demand for broadband and the increasing use of services such as internet television and music downloads.

‘Since much of the technology that powers today’s Internet came from right here at the University of Southampton, we’re the obvious people to develop the next generation,’ said Professor David Payne.

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