A partnership led by Medical Research Council (MRC) will invest £230m in new technologies to identify causes for diseases such as cancer and dementia.
The partneship will also focus on speeding up diagnosis and treatment, UK Chancellor of the Exchequer George Osborne announced.
The technologies will be used to find out how differences in the cellular and molecular make-up of people affect, and how they respond to diseases and treatment.
Mr Osborne said: "The UK is already a world leader in science and research, which is why at the budget, I protected science spending."
Clinical research will be speeded up in 23 key projects at centres across the country, including research teams at 15 universities. The clinical research infrastructure initiative will pool the funds from the UK Government, devolved administrations, Arthritis Research UK, British Heart Foundation, the Wellcome Trust and Cancer Research UK.
The majority of projects will involve partnerships with pharmaceutical and biotechnology companies, said MRC.
Cardiff University received £6.7m, including £3.4m from the Welsh Government, for the 7Tesla MRI technology, which will be used to investigate the causes and treatments of dementia, as well as other brain conditions including schizophrenia.
It will also be used to investigate Parkinson’s disease, Huntington’s disease and multiple sclerosis.
Teams from the University of Leeds and the University of York received £7.6m investment, including a co-funding from British Heart Foundation and Arthritis Research UK to develop a new imaging method, SABRE.
This new method will increase the signal in an MRI image by more than 100,000 times, and will magnetically label specific molecules, so they can be visualised.
A team from the Institute of Cancer Research, London, engaged in the development of a new type of machine known as MR-Linac, which will provide accurate visualisation of a tumour, and track its movements in real-time within a patient.
Image: MRC-led partnership will invest £230m in new technologies to identify causes for diseases such as cancer and dementia. Photo: courtesy of Medical Research Council.