Universities in the region are opening the doors of their laboratories to local hi-tech small and medium-sized firms as part of a £20million research programme into advanced materials.
Advantage West Midlands has invested more than £20m in the Birmingham Science City Advanced Materials initiative to develop a range of new facilities and equipment at the University of Warwick and Birmingham to create new materials to meet challenges faced in the areas of health, engineering, energy and the environment.
The research programme will enable the region’s universities to find the new materials that companies could be using in five years time as well as providing 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 develop the materials available now.
The latest example of this comes in partnership between the University of Warwick’s Department of Physics and 3-Cs, formerly Coated Conductor Cylinders Limited, in Malvern.
Dr Eamonn Maher, managing director of 3-Cs, 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 small businesses needing access to the facilities and expertise at Birmingham and Warwick.”