The Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry, the UK’s innovation broker in materials chemistry, is set to further improve the scope for knowledge transfer between academia and industry through the “Materials Innovation Translator” programme.
The MIT programme, supported by a strategic £0.5 million investment from the High Value Manufacturing Catapult, places Project Scientists at key academic institutions. Seven leading early career researchers have been recruited to work at KCMC’s partner organisations. These include the University of Liverpool, University of Bolton, University of Bristol, University of Southampton, University of Manchester and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) Hartree Laboratory for High Performance Computing.
Each Project Scientist will liaise between industry and academia, while working on R&D projects that aim to solve important challenges within the materials chemistry industry. This flexible and de-risked approach to funding allows research institutions to trial certain projects on a short-term basis prior to committing to longer-term collaborations.
Areas where feasibility projects are in development include the application of industrial biotechnology to sustainable materials development, new materials for application in composites, battery materials and functional inorganic coatings, and new approaches to fire retardant organic materials.
Marion Specht, Project Scientist at the University of Southampton, says: “Being placed at the University of Southampton’s chemistry department is a great opportunity to learn how a technology or product is scaled-up from the lab and transferred to industry. Academia and industry are usually two separate worlds; however, I am getting unique insight into how they work together for R&D in materials chemistry.”
Filipe Braga, Project Scientist at the University of Liverpool, says: “The MIT programme allows project scientists to gain insight into the steps needed for a new product in materials chemistry to be taken to market. My area of interest is in energy storage, and it is really exciting to be given the opportunity to work on the development and external validation of novel disruptive technologies in this industry.”
Sohail Hajatdoost, Knowledge Transfer Manager based at the University of Bristol says: “It is currently very difficult for the materials chemistry industry to develop new products and attract new business due to the higher risk of longer project times. The new flexible funding support from the Materials Innovation Translator programme will allow scientists to test the feasibility of various projects, leading to funding for those ideas with initial promise.”
If you are interested in undertaking a project with a project scientist at one of KCMC’s partner institutions, contact the KCMC knowledge transfer team at the KCMC email address here:
Notes to the Editor
Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry (KCMC) is an industry led partnership between universities, hosted by the Centre for Process Innovation (CPI), and is the UK’s leading innovation broker knowledge transfer organisation for materials chemistry. The KCMC team work closely with its partner universities, Bolton, Bristol, Liverpool, Manchester, Southampton, STFC and research institutions across the UK, offering in-depth knowledge and experience of materials chemistry innovation in both academia and industry. This enables collaborative projects between UK companies and the KCMC partners, leading to the development of valuable innovations in advanced materials at reduced cost and risk.
For more information, please visit: https://www.materialschemistry.org.uk
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Pranika Sivakumar, Notch Communications
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