Leading-edge developments in materials chemistry can now be fast-tracked to industrial application through the Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry, which looks back this month on a first year of success
Based in the industry heartland of the Northwest ? but with a national remit ? the Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry (KCMC) has a mission to drive innovation in the chemistry-using industries through collaborative R&D in applied materials chemistry: translational research from lab bench to device, formulated product or new material and effects.
Applied materials chemistry covers a broad range of science and technology competencies crucial to deliver product innovation, performance and business growth across several key sectors. These notably include electronics, personal care products, catalysts, medical devices and pharmaceuticals, coatings, chemicals and advanced materials, construction, adhesives and wastewater treatment.
?The Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry provides companies of all sizes with a single point of fast-track access to multi-disciplinary academic research that can ultimately deliver innovation and commercial advantage,? says Centre Director Dr John Conti-Ramsden. Core partners in the Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry are the Universities of Bolton, Liverpool and Manchester, the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) at Daresbury in Cheshire, and Runcorn-based Chemistry Innovation KTN (CIKTN).
The four research institutions complement each other with specialist skills and capabilities across the key centre themes of Energy; Sustainability; Electronics and Photonics; Healthcare and Biomedical; Multifunctional Materials; and Formulated products. In combination, the university partners, STFC and the Northwest Development Agency (NWDA) formally launched the Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry in March 2009 with an initial investment of over £15m.
So what?s in it for the customer? Through R&D collaboration with the Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry Northwest-based companies can receive assistance with up to 50% of a project?s first-phase cost. Companies can also lock in to world-class R&D expertise quickly, with simplicity and speed being among KCMC?s key selling points:
Together, these can add up to faster access to world-class facilities and science, and at lower cost and commercial risk.
Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry is currently progressing 25 separate projects, supported by 19 separate companies ? 14 from the Northwest UK, but with multinationals from other regions and countries accountingfor over 25%. Of these, 13 are direct industry-funded projects, with CASE, TSB and KTP funding providing the leverage for a further 12.
Prominent collaboration examples include the late 2009 announcement of a Unilever/STFC contract to study Computer Aided Formulation and the successful recent conclusion of a project with SAFC Hitech to develop new high K dielectric materials for silicon semiconductor devices. Case studies to date also include work on novel monomers and polymers; development of chemicals for fuel cells; the chemistry of complex catalyst systems; particle characterisation and process performance and polymorphism prediction (For more information, take a look at: www.materialschemistry.org/kcmc/Case_Studies.html).
To focus on meeting industry needs for collaborative research, Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry has recently completed recruitment of 12 new, experienced project scientists.
Covering numerous aspects of applied materials chemistry, their experience ranges across pharmaceuticals, fine chemicals, renewable energy, functional materials and catalysis.
Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry,
The Heath, Runcorn, England, WA7 4QX
Tel: +44 (0) 1928 511824
Fax: +44 (0)1928 515677
Added the 19 April 2010 in category Innovation UK Vol6-1