News & Events

NCEO leading environmental facilities included in £70 million NERC investment

A network of seven NERC facilities that host environmental analytical facilities and field equipment and expertise has received an investment of £70 million.

The Natural Environmental Research Council funding will enable UK researchers to continue to access the UK’s pool of field and analytical equipment which underpins environmental science. This recommissioning of scientific support and facilities will continue until March 2031.

We are excited to share the announcement that two of the facilities included in the award are the NCEO led, Field Spectroscopy Facility (FSF) located at the University of Edinburgh, which provides spectroscopy measurement instruments to analyse the properties of vegetation, soil, rocks and water bodies; and the NERC Earth Observation Data Analysis and Artificial-Intelligence Service (NEODAAS) based at the Plymouth Marine Laboratory, which provides Earth Observation data processing and analysis, advice and training, and support for researchers using Artificial Intelligence with Earth Observation data.
Prof Martin Wooster, NCEO Director of facilities and instrumentation said:

‘NERC Services and Facilities provide state of the art scientific capabilities, largely free at the point of use for our environmental science community. I’m really pleased that our two NCEO-coordinated Earth Observation facilitates – NEODAAS and FSF – have been announced by NERC as successfully recommissioned today for the next seven years. This demonstrates both the value and service they have and are providing to their users, and a great degree of confidence in their capabilities and plans going forward.’

NCEO staff at King’s College London and Leicester support the two operations with scientific advice, co-ordination and expertise.
Prof John Remedios, NCEO Exec Director said:

‘These Earth Observation facilities are a key support to the UK community and their renewal reinforces the portfolio of environmental instrument and data infrastructures with which we underpin UK scientific excellence. These ground-based operations are a vital complement to the high-quality satellite instruments we support in space, providing comprehensive insights into UK and global change. We are very pleased that NERC has recognised and rewarded the scientific excellence of the facilities and their users.’

National Capability funding

The funding has been awarded from NERC’s National Capability portfolio.
Professor Peter Liss, Interim Executive Chair of NERC, said:

“NERC is committed to fostering ambitious world-leading research in environmental sciences, including investing in the UK’s national capability in environmental science analytical facilities, plus support and research equipment for fieldwork.
“This significant investment in NERC’s Scientific Support and Facilities portfolio will ensure that our facilities can continue to provide the expertise and support to continue to meet demand from the environmental science community over the next seven years.”

Further information
To find out more about the NERC facilities available to researchers, visit: