The N8 Molecular Engineering Translational Research Centre (METRC) uses expertise from leading research centres in the North to deliver the strategic R&D services that drive the research agenda
METRC is a virtual lab pooling expertise from leading research centres across universities in the North of England. Our focus is on soft nanotechnology and its applications in UK industry. Together, we deliver the strategic R&D services needed to drive the research agenda and stimulate economic growth.
The universities involved are: Bradford, Durham, Lancaster, Leeds, Liverpool, Manchester, Newcastle, Sheffield and York. The research centres include: The Polymer Centre, the Polymer IRC, the Organic Materials Innovation Centre (OMIC), the Centre for Materials Discovery (CMD), the NanoManufacturing Institute (NMi) and the Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry (KCMC). This grouping of partners gives METRC unique key strengths in molecular engineering: globally significant research centres; a demonstrable track record of delivering for and working in partnership with industry; complementary backgrounds across key academic disciplines; and a culture of innovation and enterprise.
The gap between early stage academic science and new business opportunities is recognised by many senior industry leaders as critical in the quest for new innovations. Increasingly, companies are moving away from vertical integration towards an open innovation framework.
METRC bridges this gap and makes it possible for academic and industry researchers to work alongside each other to translate cutting-edge research into innovative new products and processes. Our combined strength means we can tackle challenges and capitalise on opportunities beyond the scope of any one partner. We build networks and foster partnerships, enabling people to work together towards a common goal. We undertake fundamental and applied R&D with our industry partners and help them to secure funding for these purposes. The benefits for industry include:
Molecular-engineered components will form the high value-added heart of larger-scale technologies enabling, for example, sustainable energy, regenerative medicine, environmental control, the production of purer chemicals and cleaner, more intensive, process technologies. Molecular engineering represents a paradigm shift in materials engineering, involving a new pattern of rationallydesigned materials, engineered at every level from the macroscopic to the molecular and a move away from traditional empirical and incremental development process.
One emerging common theme is the combination of new processes such as self-assembly and directed assembly with new versions of older technologies ? such as coating and printing ? to make highly functional products. Materials processing will increasingly be soft, wet and flexible. We target markets where our knowledge and technology can make an economic impact and benefit society. The markets we?re concentrating on at present include home and personal care, medicine and healthcare, and energy.
Examples of new innovations being developed by our partners include:
For more information contact:
Dr Richard M France
The University of Sheffield
School of Chemistry
Brook Hill, Sheffield S3 7HF
Tel: +44 (0) 114 222 9563
Added the 30 August 2009 in category Innovation UK Vol5-1