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UKRI and Met Office appoint three Clean Air Champions

They hope to bring together research regarding air quality and help develop practical solutions to improve air quality

UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) and the Met Office have appointed three Clean Air Champions to spearhead a major programme tackling air pollution.

The Champions will bring together research from across the UK and help develop practical solutions to improve air quality and reduce its health impacts in the UK.

They will also work with policymakers and businesses to help protect public health and work towards a cleaner, less emissions-intensive economy.

The Champions are Professor Stephen Holgate, MRC Clinical Professor of Immunopharmacology at the University of Southampton, Professor Martin Williams, Head of Science Policy and Epidemiology at King’s College London and Dr Jenny Baverstock, Senior Collaboration Fellow at the University of Southampton.

The programme is a £19.6 million collaboration funded under the Strategic Priorities Fund and is running for three years from 2018.

UKRI has also launched new research into new tools and technologies for measuring and predicting emissions and the factors underlying exposure to pollution and disease, as well as exploring how policy changes might affect air quality.

In a joint statement, the newly-appointed Clean Air Champions said: “Recognising that atmospheric pollution in the UK is responsible for 40,000 early deaths and costs of £20 billion per annum to health services and business, our role is to be thought leaders, flag bearers, and strategy owners for the new Clean Air programme.

“We will bring together outstanding researchers in atmospheric, medical and social science in joined-up thinking and ground-breaking solutions to help create a sound health-based policy, innovative business and trusted public information for the benefit of current and future generations.”

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