University secures multi-million pound research partnerships with industry leads
28 Sep 2018
The University of Manchester has been awarded a pair of multi-million pound research grants to work with two leading industry partners, Astra Zeneca and AkzoNobel
The funding is part of the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council’s (EPSRC) Prosperity Partnerships (PP) projects that aim to build links between the UK’s research base and industry.
Overall there are seven PP projects receiving a total of £20.4 million investment from the EPSRC. That will be leveraged by £16.8 million from the industry partners and a further £4.9 million from the universities themselves.
The partnership with AstraZeneca will develop new bio-catalysts for use in the production of medicines. The relationship will bring together the expertise to design and develop novel chemical manufacturing technologies. These will be based upon engineered biocatalysis, for the production of new therapeutic complex molecules.
Professor Nicholas Turner, from the School of Chemistry, will lead this partnership at the University. He said: “Securing this prestigious Prosperity Partnership grant represents a significant step forward for the University's Industrial Biotechnology Research Beacon and highlights the world leading research being undertaken within the Manchester Institute of Biotechnology.”
The AkzoNobel partnership will be led by Professor Stuart Lyon, AkzoNobel Chair in Corrosion Control in Manchester’s School of Materials. It will work on developing new coatings and paints that are more sustainable.
The project will do this by using state-of-the-art machine learning to deliver a design framework for the optimisation of protective coatings and nanocomposite materials. This will underpin the rapid-to-market development of environmentally sustainable coatings by rational design.
Prosperity Partnerships are EPSRC’s flagship approach to co-investing with business in long-term, use-inspired, basic research. They are five-year, multimillion pound research collaborations on topics of national and global importance which have been co-created by leading UK universities and businesses with a strong research presence in the UK.
The other five PP projects will cover a wide range of activities and processes that include developing:
- a virtual factory approach to steel production - led by Tata Steel
- new materials for solar panels – with Oxford Photovoltaics, a SME
- quantum simulation and software development to harness the power of in quantum computing – led by Google
- high-fidelity virtual simulation of a complete gas-turbine engine during operation - partnering with Rolls-Royce
- new well stimulation technology that could improve the exploitation of subsurface energy sources – led by Weir Group
Professor Philip Nelson, EPSRC’s Executive Chair said: “Our first round of Prosperity Partnerships are proving a great success. They are bringing universities and industry together and applying the creative energies of both to engineering and scientific challenges. We are confident that these projects will deliver real benefits to all their partners and help the UK research, discover and innovate.”
Advanced materials is one of The University of Manchester’s research beacons - examples of pioneering discoveries, interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-sector partnerships that are tackling some of the biggest questions facing the planet.
Industrial biotechnology is one of The University of Manchester’s research beacons - examples of pioneering discoveries, interdisciplinary collaboration and cross-sector partnerships that are tackling some of the biggest questions facing the planet.