Innovation news in brief: graphene; proton beam therapy; biomedical sciences

Graphene was discovered in Manchester in 2004

Revealed: Manchester’s new Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre

A new video revealing inside Manchester’s new Graphene Engineering Innovation Centre has been released, reports the Manchester Evening News.

The Nobel Prize-winning substance was discovered in Manchester in 2004 and is already being used to manufacture hi-tech new materials.

The £60 million state-of-the-art research and technology development facility forms part of plans to create a science corridor along Oxford Road in Manchester.

This new video shows laboratories and offices on each floor and gives an idea of how the outside of the building will look.

Watch the fly through here

Exeter Science Park gears up for growth

Exeter Science Park is gearing up for the next phase of development on its journey towards becoming the South West’s beacon of excellence for science and technology, according to the Exeter Express and Echo.

Over the past six months, the parkhas seen significant improvements in infrastructure and connectivity.

Funding has also been secured for the ongoing development of the park and to support the growth of tenants within the Science Park Centre – an incubation hub to promote innovation and support fast-growth science and technology businesses and entrepreneurs.

Proton beam therapy offers benefits for cancer patients as well as exciting career opportunities

As the UK gears up to open its new proton beam therapy centres in 2018 there is evidence emerging that further benefits can be achieved for cancer sufferers with other particles such as heavy ions.

Heavier than protons, they can target the tumour with greater precision, sparing healthy tissues. The rapidly developing field of accelerator science urgently needs more researchers to design and optimise the required treatment facilities and beam delivery systems.

The Cockcroft Institute together with a consortium of European institutions has put out a call for Fellows to join the new training network ‘Optimisation of Medical Accelerators’ (OMA) which starts in 2016.

Prof Carsten P. Welsch from the University of Liverpool’s Department of Physics, based at the Cockcroft Institute, is coordinating the OMA initiative. He said: “The field of particle-beam therapy is still very much in evolution. Although we know that the potential of current proton beam therapy is not fully exploited the results have already been impressive, with patients experiencing extended periods of remission.

“A growing body of clinical evidence shows that there is great potential for proton and ion treatment, particularly for treatment of cancers in children and where tumours are close to vital organs.

“The goal now is to maximise the therapeutic efficiency while reducing as much as possible the damage to surrounding tissues. This will come through improvements in tumour imaging, beam quality and shaping and a better understanding of the dose and its impact on both the body and the tumour. It requires advanced online monitoring techniques such as the ones we have been developing at the Cockcroft Institute.”

The OMA network is currently looking for candidates for its 15 vacant Fellowship positions at institutions across Europe. The deadline for applications is 28th February 2016 and the programme will begin in October 2016.

More information here

Durham University hosts biomedical sciences research and innovation showcase

The School of Biomedical and Biological Sciences (SBBS) at Durham University is hosting free one-day event for industry to engage with leading academics and learn of opportunities to develop mutually beneficial collaborative links in biomedical science.

The event, which takes place on April 20 2016, will showcase to industry the opportunities for collaboration in the growth areas of biologics (particularly post-translational protein modifications), biomedical enabling technologies, biomarkers, disease, and developing therapies.

For further information, click here

EBS makes French connection

A Warwickshire firm which supports foreign companies’ expansion into the UK has helped a French automotive company to double its turnover in two years.

EBS, based at the University of Warwick Science Park’s Innovation Centre in Warwick, has been working with RCD, an automotive design and engineering consultancy, since it joined EBS at the Innovation Centre in 2013 to help it break into the UK market.

EBS has led RCD’s formation of its UK subsidiary, RCD Advanced, by providing a range of services including managing finances and accounting through to growing sales and clients.

As a result of EBS’s support, RCD Advanced has gained contracts with major clients including Jaguar Land Rover, Aston Martin, MG and TATA Motors, which has helped to almost double the company’s turnover since moving to the UK.

Benjamin Lamaire, branch manager of RCD Advanced, said: “EBS has done an expert job of assisting RCD to build its presence within the UK.

“There are a vast number of differences in the way business is run in the UK to RCD’s base in Montigny-le-Bretonneux , near Paris, so it has been a great support to have EBS guide us with our expansion and the close relationship is still on-going as the team continue to manage the company’s financials.”

SPICA celebrates key role in £10 million Internet of Things competition win

Innovation Birmingham Campus-based SPICA Technologies is part of the consortium to have won the latest £10 million government-funded Internet of Things (IoT) Smart Cities Demonstrator competition for the Manchester CityVerve project.

SPICA is an IoT systems integrator that specialises in sensor/device design, embedded software development, IoT network and integrations and cloud platforms. The company uses a combination of technical assets, hardware and software components and IoT integration expertise to help businesses capitalise on the opportunity that the IoT represents.

The CityVerve project will demonstrate applications of IoT technologies and services in four key areas: healthcare, transport, energy and environment, and culture and community. It includes plans for talkative bus stops (which will enable bus operators to know when commuters are waiting) and a network of sensors in parks and along commuter routes to encourage more people to do more physical activity. These ‘smart’ improvements will help deliver more personal, efficient and flexible products and services.

Europe must adopt innovation “mind-set”

“It’s time to put The Innovation Principle’ at the heart of Europe’s economic revival,” that was the key message at a recent high-level industry conference in Brussels, reports European Business Express.

Carlos Moedas, European commissioner for research, science and innovation, said barriers between interdisciplinary structures must be removed to quicken innovation and accelerate competitiveness. He said it’s about process, managing risk, education and a re-branding of Europe’s innovation mind-set.

Europe is still lagging behind Asia and the United States when it comes to innovation and economic success; the EU is too slow to recognise powerful new products and services, often hindered by ‘the precautionary principle’ which can bury new concepts beneath a mountain of environmental and consumer protection.