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Manufacturing & Supply Chain

Industry and academia partnerships aim to boost UK economic growth

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Industry and academia partnerships aim to boost UK economic growth

Industry and academia partnerships aim to boost UK economic growth
October 05
11:15 2023
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Nine new regional partnerships between UK universities and manufacturing businesses will address industry-driven challenges and develop new technologies. The Early-Stage Prosperity Partnerships have received almost £5 million from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), matched with funding from the business partners, to deliver:

  • new ways of producing specialist alloys by innovations to the continuous casting method of alloy creation
  • innovative polymer products which are both biodegradable and recyclable, and have the same functionality as conventional plastics
  • improvements in the production of titanium sheet metal used in the aerospace industry
  • better design and development of artificial intelligence (AI) alloys used in sustainable manufacturing
  • the design and development of high-performance precious metal alloys customised for an advanced manufacturing process called laser powder bed fusion
  • sustainable, 100% biomass-derived flexible packaging that will be compatible with commercial high-speed production packaging lines
  • more affordable electric vehicles by eliminating magnets from electric drives (eDrives)
  • new applications for a recently discovered low avalanche noise semiconductor, AlGaAsSb
  • a robust, carbon-neutral and cost effective process to treat sludge (from human waste) and to recover valuable materials and clean water from it

These new partnerships showcase the breadth of research and innovation in the UK and will boost economic growth regionally and nationally. Nine of the 14 businesses involved were small and medium-sized enterprises, which further demonstrates the huge added value that businesses can expect to gain by partnering with some of the UK’s best researchers.

Exploring important topics

Dr Andrew Bourne, Executive Director of Partnerships at EPSRC, said: “I am excited to announce the EPSRC support of a number of ambitious early-stage academic-business research collaborations which complement the established EPSRC Prosperity Partnerships initiative. These partnerships which particularly encourage small and medium-sized enterprises will further promote business investment in discovery science and explore important topics including green packaging and sustainable manufacturing.”

The business-academia partnerships are:

  • University of Dundee and Rautomead Ltd
  • University of Birmingham and Aquapak Polymers
  • University of Strathclyde and ITP Aero
  • Brunel University London and Alloyed
  • University of Birmingham and Cooksongold
  • Imperial College London and Unilever Global
  • The University of Sheffield and Phlux Technology
  • Newcastle University and GKN Automotive
  • Newcastle University and Mitchell Dryers

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