The ‘Royal Commission for the Exhibition’ of 1851 has awarded ‘Industrial Fellowships’ worth up to £80,000 to the UK’s 14 most promising young doctoral engineers and scientists.
The Commission has supported young engineers and scientists to help bring their technologies to commercialisation and make an impact on businesses and society.
Originally set up by Prince Albert following the ‘Great Exhibition’ of 1851, the ‘Industrial Fellowships’ recognise the best research that could advance British industry and award them funds to bring them to market.
Bernard Taylor, chairman of the Royal Commission, said: “Ensuring Britain’s young scientists and engineers are supported is crucial to ensuring that the UK is at the forefront of innovation in the years to come.”
The technologies include a new way to purify the immune system’s T-cells and genetically modify them to potentially identify and kill cancer cells, and a project to improve the yield of stem blood cells from umbilical cord blood to improve the treatment of blood based cancers.
They also include research into the reactivation of stem cells in bones to reverse osteoporosis, and a DNA analysis technique that could help crime scene forensics make a digital e-fit and recreate a person’s likely physical features from trace samples.
Among the recipients of 2017’s Industrial Fellowships is Dina Abdulaziz, a Syrian national who left her country in 2016 to come to the UK for the first time to pursue her dream of completing her research and help victims of the Syrian Civil War.
Dina aims to create new biosynthetic materials that surgeons could use to fill large missing spaces in bones following serious injury or trauma.
Current bone transplants use material from the patient or a combination of animal or cadaver bones with the patient’s own tissue. Risk of infection increases with these types of procedures, leading to delays in healing and subsequent costly treatment. Dina’s new materials will minimise these issues.
Other projects include a dietary drink that could mimic the effects of low carb diets, an artificial intelligence sound mixer for live music performances that can automatically detect and eliminate distortion, a data transmitter that could standardise quantum communications; and improvements to Dearman Engines, a type of zero-emissions engine that uses liquid nitrogen is another project
Taylor added: “Our Industrial Fellowships are designed to fund and commercialise the most promising technologies that could shape our society in the future.
“This year, we have awarded more Fellowships than ever before, and the breadth of technologies we are supporting, from artificial intelligence, to clean power and potential cures for most deadly diseases demonstrates that the talent in the UK is only growing.”