University of Nottingham given manufacturing research boost

Posted on 14 Feb 2014 by The Manufacturer

The University of Nottingham has been awarded half a million pounds of funding for a project exploring how light can be used in innovative new manufacturing technologies.

The money, awarded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), will support two 18-month studies.

One will develop ‘holographic optical tweezers’ for tissue engineering technologies and the other will hope to transform the production of chemicals in the manufacture of drugs for the pharmaceutical industry.

Chemists and engineers at the University have been awarded £300,000 to transform the way in which a technique called continuous photochemistry, while an additional £250,000 has been set aside for using laser light for regenerative medicine applications.

Professor Martyn Poliakoff, in the University’s School of Chemistry, said: “We are delighted with the grant and feel that partnership between me and Mike George in Chemistry with Steve Pickering in Engineering will produce successful methodologies that will contribute to the cleaner, improved manufacture of chemicals.”

The manufacture of chemicals contributes £10 billion annually to the UK economy, in the chemicals sector and £9 billion in the pharmaceuticals sector alone.

Its importance was supported by a recent report to government by the Chemistry Growth Strategy Group, which highlighted ‘smart technologies’ as being key to the sector’s ambitions to increase their Gross Value Added contribution to the UK economy by 50% by 2030.