Innovation news in brief: Manufacturing; diagnostics; graphene; robotics

The Scottish manufacturing sector is to receive a boost

New manufacturing centre of excellence in Scotland will "stimulate innovation"

A centre of excellence for manufacturing is to be created in Scotland as part of a plan to ensure a sustainable future for the sector, reports

The centre will help industry and higher and further education institutions work together to stimulate innovation, improve productivity and increase investment in the manufacturing sector, according to the Scottish Government.

It is part of a wider programme titled A Manufacturing Future For Scotland which will also promote science, technology, engineering and mathematics (STEM) subjects and push engagement between industry and education.

Arquer signs deal to manufacture advanced cancer test

Arquer Diagnostics, a diagnostic company that has developed an advanced urine test for cancer, has announced that it has signed an agreement with Euro Diagnostica for the manufacturing and supply of Arquer’s Mcm5-ELISA test for the diagnosis of bladder cancer.

Under the terms of the agreement, Arquer intends to use Euro Diagnostica as its primary manufacturer of its Mcm5-ELISA test kits.

Bladder cancer is currently diagnosed by cystoscopy, which is expensive and uncomfortable for patients. Arquer’s Mcm5-ELISA is a simple, non-invasive test, which detects the presence of minichromosome maintenance complex component 5 (Mcm5) protein in urine.

MCM proteins are shed into urine by both prostate and bladder tumours and are known to be excellent biomarkers of cancer, being directly involved in cell replication.

Arquer’s diagnostic test originates from work conducted by Cambridge University and Cancer Research Technology.

Trebor completes new offices at Malvern Hills Science Park

Midlands developer Trebor Developments has handed over the new offices for Malvern Hills Science Park tenant UTC Aerospace Systems.

The development, which includes full fit out to meet UTC Aerospace’s Systems operational requirements, was completed within budget.

Sarah Quinney of UTC Aerospace Systems said: “The staff at Malvern are looking forward to being located in the new facility. Bringing everyone together will provide greater coherence, as the building has been designed to meet our specific business requirements and support our customer deliverables.”

Bob Tattrie, managing partner for Trebor, commented: “It has been a pleasure to work in partnership with Malvern Hills Science Park and UTC Aerospace Systems. The team work has been excellent and by overlapping the base build and fit out contracts we have reduced costs and overall programme. The end result speaks for itself”.

Graphene implants could restore sensory functions

UK-Italian research involving Cambridge could lead to the ‘wonder’ material graphene being used to restore sensory functions for amputee or paralysed patients, or for individuals with motor disorders such as Parkinson’s disease, reports Business Week

Early results from a collaboration between Cambridge Graphene Centre and the University of Trieste show that graphene can be used to make electrodes that can be implanted in the brain; the technology could potentially be used to restore sensory functions, the partners believe.

Innovate UK to set up base in Scotland

The government’s innovation agency, Innovate UK, is to set up a permanent base in Scotland, which it hopes to be operational by the end of the year and joined by about a dozen reg­ional offices, reports The Scotsman

Innovate UK looks to support pioneering science and technology to help drive econ­omic growth while investing in companies, and is putting down roots north of the Border as it evolves better to help growing businesses.

The Pheonix helps paraplegics rise and walk

A new robotic exoskeleton that helps paraplegics get up and walk is about to be launched, according The Week.

Wearing ‘The Phoenix’, someone normally bound to a wheelchair can sit, stand, and walk on a level grade at 1.1 miles per hour. It goes on sale next month for $40,000, two to four times less than competitors' models.

Created by Berkeley, California–based SuitX , the Phoenix’s 12kg mechanical frame is lighter and more affordable than similar devices. The secret is its "spartan design," which focuses entirely on helping the wearer walk.