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25 June 2012
Secretary of State praises University’s business collaborations

Business Secretary Vince Cable has visited The University of Nottingham to see the work that the University is doing in collaboration with industry.

Vince Cable

The first stop on the Secretary of State’s visit was The University of Nottingham Innovation Park, where Professor David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, highlighted the latest investments on the Park, including the planned £12m Glaxo Smith-Kline (GSK) funded Centre for Sustainable Chemistry and the site for the £6.7m building for Romax, one of the world’s leading gearbox engineering companies.

At the Innovation Park, Dr. Cable met Dr Ewan Livingstone, General Manager of Industrial Processing Systems at e2v technologies. e2v has licensed a University of Nottingham technology that enables the industrial microwave processing of the mineral vermiculite which is widely used in fireproofing and horticultural markets.

Dr. Cable saw examples of new technologies developed by undergraduate students at the University. These included CabGrab, a smart phone app invented by Marvin Plummeridge and Greg Burke, for booking taxis from any location worldwide.

Later,  Dr. Cable visited the Cummins Innovation Centre for electrical machines at University Park. Cummins Generator Technologies is headquartered in Stamford, Lincolnshire, and is the largest electrical machines manufacturer in the UK. The company has over a century of experience in building electrical machines for the power generation industry and is working closely with the University to develop further applications in the transport sector, which will significantly improve fuel consumption and emissions.

Dr Cable was also given a demonstration by Dr Neil Brown, Chief Engineer at Cummins Generator Technologies, of one of the high speed electrical machines being developed by the University and Cummins, which aims to significantly improve fuel consumption and emissions.

Speaking about his visit to The University of Nottingham, Vince Cable said: “Collaboration between universities and industry is a key element of the Government’s growth strategy and it’s been very encouraging to see this in action at the University of Nottingham.

“The partnerships it has formed with business, including e2v and Cummins, shows that there are lots of exciting technologies being developed in our universities with huge commercial potential.”

Professor David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, said: “The University of Nottingham has always worked very closely with industry and I am very pleased that the Business Secretary was able to see some of these partnerships in action today. We welcome the opportunity to work closely with companies in all sectors and I would encourage businesses to contact us to explore ways in which we can help them to develop new and innovative ideas.”

Also during his visit to Nottingham, Dr. Cable announced funding of over £2 million for two projects that will help the University to continue to strengthen its links with businesses. These include £1.5 million from Glaxo Smith-Kline (GSK) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for a Chair in Sustainable Chemistry and a further £675,000 from EPSRC for the world’s first liquid surfaces X-ray machine.

GSK is funding a Carbon Neutral Laboratory at The University of Nottingham Innovation Park, and the Chair will be responsible for developing and sharing best practice in green chemistry, as well as developing new collaborations with other institutions and industry partners.

The X-ray Liquid Phase Photoelectron Spectrometer, known as LiPPS, will be based at the Nottingham Nanotechnology and Nanoscience Centre (NNNC) at University Park and will be the world’s first liquid surfaces x-ray machine. The work undertaken in this area has applications in high-value sectors including the semiconductor, aerospace, pharmaceutical and automotive industries.

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