A laser facility in Irvine, Britain November 29, 2015. REUTERS/Phil Noble/Files

LONDON (Reuters) - Britain plans to invest up to 82 million pounds ($107 million) in a centre for advanced laser research as part of a push to harness the power of the future.

The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council said on Monday the announcement would benefit hundreds of research scientists across universities and defense and aerospace companies.

The government is looking to drive Britain’s so-called industrial strategy and bolster the nation’s presence in advanced technology, which includes advanced manufacturing.

“The work we are funding will help build a stronger, more competitive UK economy in the decades ahead,” said Science Minister Sam Gyimah.

The main competition for the centre will be Germany’s REH which is planning a 64 million euro ($69 million) investment in advanced laser technology, the EPSRC said.

Laser technology has been used in both finance and research for many years and EPPSC argues it has several advantages over other, less commonly used lasers including that it can be used in more widely spread applications, its research programme manager John Clare said.

The EPPSC has given 400 million pounds worth of science funding to science research over the last three years.