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University Joins £5m Research blitz on Plastics with Prestigious Faraday Centre

Originally Published 27 June 2000

A new £5 million research blitz on plastics begins today Wednesday 28th June 2000 with Lord Sainsbury's announcement that the Government is to fund a Faraday Plastics Centre to be run in partnership between one of the UK's leading centres of applied academic research and a leading plastics research based company.

The Faraday Plastics Centre will be run by the Warwick Manufacturing Group at the University of Warwick in partnership with Rapra Technology Ltd, Europe's leading independent research and technology organisation specialising in polymers, bringing together the best of UK industry and university research skills to develop on the next generation of plastics and plastics handling. £2.2 million of the funding will come from the Department of Trade and Industry (DTI) and Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC). Further funding, from EU and other sources, will add a further £3 million to this total. Faraday Centres are part of a new Government initiative to bring industry and academia closer together - to accelerate technology transfer and create a more competitive industrial base for the UK.

The new centre will focus on four main themes of collaborative plastics research - design, processing, durabilty, and recycling of plastics. A concurrent programme of Faraday Associate student fellowships will allow SMEs to involve undergraduate and postgraduate students in their R&D efforts. The Centre will also provide a "help desk" website allowing SMEs to access the latest research and techniques.

Professor Kumar Bhattacharyya Director of the Warwick Manufacturing Group said:

"We are delighted to have forged this partnership with the plastics industry in collaboration with Rapra. This partnership will bring a new impetus to the plastics industry and help to generate future success. We look forward to taking the industry to new heights in an increasingly global market place."

Dr Phil Extance, Rapra's Chief Executive stated:

"This reinforces the value of the plastics industry and its key role in new product development in applications ranging from mobile phones to biotechnology."

Peter Davis, BPF Director General, added:

"I am delighted that the Faraday Plastics bid has been approved by the DTI. It is essential for the plastics industry's prospects that we operate at the leading edge of technology and design."

Notes for Editors:

DTI/EPSRC selected Faraday Plastics for support through a competitive process open to all UK universities and research and technology organisations. Four Faraday Centres will be established in the UK this year.

For Further details contact
Nick Matthews,
Warwick Manufacturing Group
024 76572506

Further information about the above press release and all other media services at the University of Warwick can be obtained from:

Peter Dunn, Press Officer
University of Warwick
Coventry, CV4 7AL
West Midlands
Tel: 024 76 523708