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£20 Million Programme gives high tech Midlands companies access to University technology

Phil Hurst from 3-Cs using the University of Warwick equipment supplied via Birmingham Science CityA £20 million research programme into advanced materials at Midlands universities is literally opening doors to the very latest University lab equipment for high tech Midlands SME companies.

Advantage West Midlands have invested over £20 Million in the Birmingham Science City Advanced Materials programme to develop of a range of new facilities and equipment at the University of Warwick and Birmingham University in order to create, identify and develop new materials to meet the challenges we face in health, engineering, energy and the environment.

However what makes this research programme doubly powerful is that while it empowers the region’s universities to find the new materials  companies could be using in five years times, it also provides simultaneous direct help to companies seeking to exploit the new materials available now.

One of the key ways the programme does this is by allowing the formation of partnerships with local companies to share access to expensive scientific equipment. The Universities use it to develop new materials and companies can gain access to the equipment to test and take forward the materials available now.

 The latest example of this comes in partnership between the University of Warwick’s Department  of Physics and  3-Cs Ltd (formerly Coated Conductor Cylinders Limited) in Malvern.  The Birmingham Science City Advanced Materials programme has allowed the University of Warwick’s Department of physics to acquire a crucial piece of equipment called a “Panalytical X’Pert Pro MRD XRD unit Materials Research Diffractometer” which will help them research and create new materials  and processes.

 The equipment is also ideal  for testing thin-film materials being produced by 3-Cs Ltd at their Malvern site.  The company has now formed a relationship with The University of Warwick’ s Physics  Department which gives it access to that equipment and has trained a 3-Cs staff member (Dr Phil Hirst) in its use.  3-Cs have now can  regular use of the equipment to study “the epitaxial growth of multilayer thin films” with a view to optimising their manufacturing processes.

 Dr Eamonn Maher, MD, of 3-Cs Ltd said:

 "We have supported the concept of Birmingham Science City right from the beginning and now that we have been able to benefit directly from the scheme we have no hesitation in recommending it to any small business needing access to the facilities and expertise at the universities of Birmingham and Warwick.  Great care was taken by the Business Engagement Manager, Richard Simpson, in understanding our business needs and technical requirements and in making the right introductions.  All this was accomplished in short order, and we were able to get on with the job and lay the groundwork for improving our manufacturing processes.  It really is a pleasure to deal with such high- quality people and we look forward to collaborating more in the future."

 Professor Pam Thomas ,University of WarwickProfessor Pam Thomas, from the University of Warwick’s Department of Physics and also Research Director for Birmingham Science City said:

“The aim of this Birmingham Science City project is to encourage industrial and academic collaboration and joint research.  It provides an opportunity for businesses and industry to access the latest thinking, research and equipment in the field.  We are delighted  with the opportunities it gives us to research new materials, but also with the powerful partnerships it is building between the University researchers and technology pioneers in our region's high-tech companies.”




Note for Editors: 3-Cs  develops concepts and products for research and development in applications using high temperature superconducting films on tapes and proprietary cylindrical substrates. The company  was founded in 2000 by Dr Eamonn F Maher, who has over thirty five years experience of research in electronic materials, sensors and instrumentation. His current work includes the development of revolutionary new concepts in electrical machines based on coated conductor cylinders with no physical winding processes.  This is now attracting attention worldwide as a new means of advancing the field of coated conductors but without the need for long lengths of the so-called 2nd Generation wire.


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Phil Hurst from 3-Cs using the University of Warwick equipment supplied via Birmingham Science City  Phil Hurst from 3-Cs using the University of Warwick equipment supplied via Birmingham Science City  









For further information please contact:

Peter Dunn, Head of Communications
Communications Office, University House,
University of Warwick, Coventry, CV4 8UW, United Kingdom  
Tel: +44 (0)24 76 523708  Mobile/Cell:  +44 (0)7767 655860
Twitter:   @PeterJDunn


Coated Conductor Cylinders Ltd
Malvern Hills Science Park, Geraldine Road,
Malvern, Worcs. WR14 3SZ.
Telephone: +44 (0)1491 642924

 PR 137 PJD  22nd December 2009