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Materials Chemistry scheme goes nationwide

11 May 2011

A unique collaborative scheme involving University of Manchester academics is taking its Research and Development Incentive Scheme nationwide – offering companies the equivalent of up to £10,000 towards materials chemistry collaborative research projects.

The Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry (KCMC), a partnership of the Universities of Manchester, Bolton and Liverpool and the Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) at Daresbury, has extended its successful North West regional scheme,

The launch will notably benefit qualifying innovators looking to develop and commercialise products for applications in energy, health and personal care, biomedical and sustainable product design.

The National Incentive Scheme (NIS) is effective from 1 May 2011 and was formally launched to the UK business and innovation community at the House of Commons on 4 May, hosted by Andrew Miller MP, Chair of the Science and Technology Select Committee.

KCMC’s major technology strengths are in electronics and photonics, advanced materials, catalysts and formulated products, with the partners’ leading edge science including modelling and simulation; thin film and surface chemistry; nanostructured materials; printed electronics and smart/multifunction materials.

The National Incentive Scheme – accessing world-class research and development - is open to any UK based company that has not previously taken part in a collaborative research project with the KCMC.

KCMC provides a unique point-of-entry to world-class science, facilities and knowledge transfer in collaborative materials chemistry research projects across the public, academic and commercial sectors.

KCMC Centre Director Dr John Conti-Ramsden said: “Materials chemistry is crucial to product development in key areas such as energy, healthcare and biomedical sectors, with the cluster of North West research institutions offering world-class excellence”.

“Given the success and momentum of our regional Incentive Scheme, extension to benefit innovative companies nationwide was a logical next step to leverage the capabilities of our science partners. It can place innovative companies alongside some of the best science in the world”.

With a maximum value of £10,000, the incentive takes the form of reduction in the overall cost to the company of executing a collaborative research and development project with a KCMC partner. Projects are subject to the usual requirements of business confidentiality for industry-funded activity.

The scheme operates through a simple three-stage process. Candidates first complete an Expression of Interest for review by the KCMC Management Team.

Successful applicants are then invited to submit a full application for an incentive and will receive support from a KCMC Knowledge Transfer Manager to prepare and submit this application.

Following submission, the application will be formally assessed and the outcome of the assessment will normally be shared with the applicant within a month – although there is a ‘fast track’ option for urgent projects.  A confidential disclosure agreement can be arranged at any stage of the process to ensure company confidentiality.

Further information on the scheme – and other funding options – is available from the KCMC Knowledge Transfer team, via info@materialschemistry.org or 01928 511824.

KCMC recently completed a second successful year, delivering strongly ahead of forecast for both generated income and business development in its 2010/11 financial year, ending 31 March.

The Centre initiated or completed 50 collaborative research projects during the year, bringing to 84 the total since its 2009 launch.