Two new ‘Innovation and Knowledge Centres’ receive £20 million funding

Two new ‘Innovation and Knowledge Centres’ receive £20 million funding

12 Oct 2010

Funding was announced today for two new research centres in the UK. Funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) and the Technology Strategy Board, these 'Innovation and Knowledge Centres' (IKCs) will mix business knowledge with the most up-to-date research to harness the full potential of emerging technologies - ensuring the UK is first to develop this cutting-edge research.

The two new centres will focus on areas where world class scientific breakthroughs have already been achieved. They will build on the success of the existing centres at Cambridge, Cranfield, Queen's Belfast and Leeds Universities and will become centres of excellence to achieve major scientific breakthroughs. The new IKC's will bring together high calibre teams with a proven research excellence to explore the potential of these breakthroughs and bring new technologies to market more quickly. The funding was announced today at Innovate10; a Technology Strategy Board event that bought people together to solve problems and make new advances, creating opportunity and growth for the future.

Talking about the two new centres to be based at Swansea University and the University of Cambridge, EPSRC's Chief Executive, Professor David Delpy, said:

"Taking exciting research from the university laboratory to the commercial sector through close collaboration with user stakeholders is vital to ensuring the UK's economy continues to be innovative and globally competitive.

EPSRC is strongly committed to supporting universities in commercialising their outstanding research and I applaud the innovative approach taken by the successful applicants, and all competing universities."

The Technology Strategy board's Chief Executive, Iain Gray, said:

"These two new Innovation and Knowledge Centres are highly important for the UK and economic growth because they harness specialist academic knowledge and business expertise in areas where we have proved capabilities and we know that we can do well.

By pooling know-how, capablity, and expertise in one centre, the UK maximises the opportunity to innovate effectively and generate economic growth."

Swansea's new centre will be called SPECIFIC - the Sustainable Product Engineering Centre for Innovative Functional Industrial Coatings. SPECIFIC's primary aim is to transform buildings into 'power stations' through the rapid commercialisation of functional coatings on steel and glass in the areas of energy capture, storage and release. The ambitious target of the SPECIFIC academic and industrial partnership is to generate a portfolio of products which, by 2020, will generate over one third of the UK's requirement for renewable energy.

The University of Cambridge centre will combine research in sensor and data management with innovative manufacturing processes to provide radical changes to the construction and management of infrastructure. The aim is to transform the industry through a whole-life approach to achieving sustainability in construction and infrastructure, covering design and commissioning, the construction process, exploitation and use, and eventual decommissioning.

For full press release including notes to editors, please follow this link

Press enquiries should be directed to Victoria McGuire, Media Relations Manager, Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council.

Direct line: +44 1793 444267
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Last updated on Wednesday 13 October 2010 at 15:13

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