British retailer, Marks & Spencer, is to fund research into the development of a new bra designed for bigger busted women.

The University of Wollongong was unable to find an Australian company to continue funding its research for the "smart bra" so M&S stepped in.

The retailer has signed up to fund a team of 10 researchers for the two-year project to bring the bra on to the market.

The bra is made of fabric that responds to movement by tightening straps and stiffening cups to prevent breast pain and sag.

Researchers will use technology from the university's Intelligent Polymer Research Institute.

A spokesman from the research team said the M&S link was helping to give the project international exposure.