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Functional Materials get UK research financial boost

Engineering And Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) : 28 December, 2014  (Company News)
Ten new research projects that will advance UK manufacturing capability, develop new and exciting functional materials, and accelerate the translation of the science of functional materials through to application were announced today by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), valued in total at £20 million.
The projects will include:
  • developing thin-film materials and novel manufacturing methods for wearable technology ;
  • improving the mass production of carbon nanotube materials ;
  • advanced manufacturing of nanoparticles for healthcare applications
  • revolutionising the manufacture and use of specialised glass (chalcogenides);
  • exploiting the potential of flexible perovskite photovoltaics that will reduce costs and improve performance of solar cell technology;
  • developing the materials needed for the new class of photonic integrated circuits for use in communications, sensors, imaging and lighting;
  • developing advanced fabrication processes for Gallium Nitride and related materials, for the UK’s emerging manufacturing industries  
Developed in response to the Manufacturing Advanced Functional Materials (MAFuMa) call issued by EPSRC in February 2014, the projects include research programmes and strategic equipment and will be led by the universities of Bath, Cambridge, Oxford, Leeds, Southampton, UCL (University College London) and Bangor University.
Overall seventeen universities are involved and, combined with universities’ contributions and those from industry partners, the total value of these projects is £32.1 million.
Welcoming the announcement Business Secretary, Vince Cable, said: “Working with academia and industry to support game-changing manufacturing projects like these is at the heart of the Government’s industrial strategy. By supporting the jump from the manufacturing lab to the market place, we are driving innovation, creating valuable new jobs and delivering economic growth that will secure the UK’s global leadership for decades to come.”
Professor Philip Nelson, EPSRC’s CEO, said: “These grants for Functional Materials research will take advantage of the excellent capability that exists across the UK. The level of partnership between universities and industry means they are well positioned to advance the exploitation of the knowledge and discoveries of our pioneering scientists and engineers. These are really exciting projects that can add to the long term prosperity of our country.”

Project Title


Principal Investigator Lead Organisation Co-Investigator Organisations Industrial Partners Total FEC Value

Novel manufacturing methods for functional electronic textiles


Professor Stephen Beeby University of Southampton Southampton; Nottingham Trent Centre for Process Innovation; Plessey, BSN Medical; International Automotive Components, Stretchline, Royal Centre for Defence Medicine; Speedo; Medicity; Urgo Ltd; DSTL £2.8m
Wearable and flexible technologies enabled by advanced thin-film manufacture and metrology Professor Harish Bhaskaran University of Oxford

University of Exeter;

University of Southampton; University of Oxford

Sharp Labs; Creaphys; Kurt Lesker Co Ltd; DSTL;Oxford Instruments; BASF; Karlsruhe Institute of Technology; University of Pennsylvania £3.1m
Advanced Nanotube Application and Manufacturing Initiative (ANAM initiative) Professor Norman Fleck University of Cambridge University of Cambridge; University of Ulster

Alphasense, Thin Film Solutions, Sheilding, Ricardo, Q-Flo, Johnson Matthey, Goodyear, Dyson, Eaton, Bombardier, BAE Systems, Hexcel, Integrated

Materials Technology

Advanced Flow Technology for Healthcare Materials Manufacturing Professor Asterios Gavriilidis UCL UCL; Brunel BB international; CMAC; Centre for Process Innovation; KTN; NPL; Resonant Circuits, MICA Biosystems ltd £3.2m
Manufacturing and Application of Next Generation Chalcogenides Professor Daniel Hewak University of Southampton Southampton; Exeter; Cambridge; Heriot-Watt; Oxford Fibrecore; Glass Technology Services; Lenton; M-Squared Lasers; Samsung Electronics; Plastic Logic; SEPNET; Oxford Instruments; Gooch & Housgo; National Instruments Corp (UK); Chell Instruments; NPL; Ilika; Qioptiq; Seagate technology; DSTL. £3.1m
Self-assembling Perovskite Absorbers - Cells Engineered into Modules (SPACE-Modules) Professor Peter Holliman Bangor University Swansea, Oxford G24 Power Ltd; BIPVCo. £3.2m
Ultrafast Laser Plasma Implantation- Seamless Integration of Functional Materials for Advanced Photonics (SeaMatics) Professor Gin Jose University of Leeds Leeds; Cambridge; York; Sheffield Xyratex Technology Ltd; Glucosense Diagnostics; Product Evolution Ltd; Dow Corning LTd; DSTL; Glass Technology Services Ltd; Gooch and Housego;PVD products; Semtech Corporation; Compound Semiconductor Tech Global Ltd; IQE Silicon Principal InvestigatorCompounds Ltd.  £3.1m
Manufacturing of nano-engineered III-nitride semiconductors Dr Philip Shields University of Bath Bath; Sheffield; Bristol; Strathclyde Plessey; Seren Photonics; Lumerical Solutions;CNRS-CRHEA; NuNano; CIP Technologies; Tyndall National Institute; LayTec UK Ltd; Compound Semiconductor Tech Global Ltd; NMI; EV Group £3.0m
Strategic Equipment Project Title Principal Investigator Organisation Total Full Economic Cost value    
Pilot Manufacturing with Ultrafast Laser Plasma Implantation (ULPI) Professor Gin Jose University of Leeds £1.3 million    
Manufacturing of nano-engineered III-N semiconductors Dr Philip Shields University of Bath £ 0.5 million    


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