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Nano companies encouraged to submit applications for £5,000 grant to undertake feasibility studies at the University of Surrey
The Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN), one of the UK's primary knowledge-based networks for Micro and Nanotechnologies is pleased to announce the launch of BlueSkyNano, an award scheme aiming to increase engagement between industry and academia. The first award scheme is in partnership with the University of Surrey and will offer companies funding to encourage them to undertake a feasibility study to help solve technology challenges utilising the University's expertise. The call for applications opened on September 13th 2010 and will close on the 26th of November.
BlueSkyNano has been established to fund feasibility studies aimed at new product development or product enhancement. Focused primarily on innovation in nanomaterials, it will cover application areas including ICT, environment and energy, medicine and high value manufacturing and aims to establish a recognisable brand for UK industry.
"The University of Surrey Awards Scheme as part of BlueSkyNano can provide an easy route to access world class research, expertise and facilities. At the University we encourage research into relevant and practical applications and by working with the NanoKTN's BlueSkyNano award scheme and bringing together industry and academia, the goal is to support companies, helping them to make huge improvements in a number of areas," explains Sophie Woodward, Project Manager of the Knowledge Transfer Account, University of Surrey.
The funding is available to all SMEs working in the nanotechnology space. Applications will be reviewed by the Research and Enterprise staff at the University of Surrey and successful applicants will be introduced to suitable academics to deliver the project. As well as working as part of BlueSkyNano, there will also be opportunities for further funding using KTA (Knowledge Transfer Account) /KTP ( Knowledge Transfer Partnerships)/IDC (Integrated Doctoral Centre) mechanisms.
"Much of nanotechnology is uncharted territory, and companies need assistance to try out new innovative ideas. This assistance can be provided by Universities and research organisations, but finding a ‘way in' to meet the right experts can be daunting, especially for SMEs with limited resources. Developing relationships between industry and academia offer a fast-track route to realising the significant benefits that nanotechnology can bring to many UK industries, gaining competitive advantage and market share," explains Martin Kemp, Theme Manager at the NanoKTN.
Kemp continues, "To support the successful exploitation of nanotechnology in the UK, academia and industry need to collaborate to bridge the gaps in the supply chain and to develop projects and research. BlueSkyNano acts as an SME-friendly and easy way for companies to get help from academia and research organisations to improve and develop products. It is crucial for industry leaders to take advantage of the state-of-the-art research facilities in the UK to ensure nanotechnology advances."
One of the NanoKTN's key aims is to stimulate and assist the formation of supply chains in end-user market sectors to ensure the successful implementation of nanotechnology in the UK. The NanoKTN is committed to assisting its members in making the best possible decisions to ensure inward investment in the UK nanotechnology market. To help achieve this, the NanoKTN is encouraging companies working in the nano space to apply for the £5,000 grant and is able to assist with proposals and applications.
Established by the Technology Strategy Board, the NanoKTN is managed by Centre for Process Innovation Ltd, a leading technology development and consulting company.
About University of Surrey
The University of Surrey is one of the UK’s leading professional, scientific and technological universities with a world class research profile and a reputation for excellence in teaching and research. Ground-breaking research at the University is bringing direct benefit to all spheres of life – helping industry to maintain its competitive edge and creating improvements in the areas of health, medicine, space science, the environment, communications, defence and social policy. Programmes in science and technology have gained widespread recognition and it also boasts flourishing programmes in dance and music, social sciences, management and languages and law. In addition to the campus on 150 hectares just outside Guildford, Surrey, the University also owns and runs the Surrey Research Park, which provides facilities for 140 companies employing 2,700 staff.
About The NanoKTN
The NanoKTN facilitates the transfer of knowledge and experience between industry and research, offering companies dealing in small-scale technology access to information on new processes, patents and funding as well as keeping up-to-date with industry regulation. The four broad areas that the NanoKTN focuses on are: Promoting and facilitating knowledge exchange, supporting the growth of UK capabilities, raising awareness of Nanotechnology, and providing thought leadership and input to UK policy and strategy.
About Knowledge Transfer Accounts
Knowledge Transfer Accounts (KTAs) aim to stimulate an environment and engender a culture to overcome barriers to better exploit EPSRC-funded research. They will foster the creation of an environment in which impact and knowledge transfer/exchange are valued and encouraged, just as much as is the generation of original research results. The 12 Knowledge Transfer Accounts (KTAs) funded by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) started on 1 October 2009. These grants will provide funding to help make sure that EPSRC research funded is fully exploited, as well as contributing to the creation of a culture of knowledge transfer.
About Knowledge Transfer Networks (KTNs)
KTNs have been set up by government, industry and academia to facilitate the transfer of knowledge and experience between industry and the science base. They bring together diverse organisations and provide activities and initiatives that promote the exchange of knowledge and the stimulation of innovation in these communities.
The first KTNs were set up in 2005 and the network continues to grow. They are active in sectors, technologies and market-based areas and they interact strongly with the government’s Technology Programme and overall technology strategy.
The Centre for Process Innovation (CPI) was established by One NorthEast as a UK wide resource to stimulate and drive innovation within the Process Industry. Working with global industry partners and leading research universities CPI is committed to delivering world-class, groundbreaking applied research and development.
About The Technology Strategy Board
The Technology Strategy Board (www.innovateuk.org) is a business-led executive non-departmental public body, established by the government. Its role is to promote and support research into, and development and exploitation of, technology and innovation for the benefit of UK business, in order to increase economic growth and improve the quality of life.
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Fiona Brewer/Alex Kenchington
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