Nanotechnology deal

Manchester University’s School of Chemistry has signed a deal with Japanese company Murata Manufacturing to advance research and development in the field of nanotechnology.

The partnership was formed following discussions between the Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA) and Murata, a global manufacturer of electronic devices.

Mark Hughes, NWDA executive director of economic development, said: ‘This research collaboration is great news for Manchester University and testimony to the strength of the region’s reputation for research and development. The agency has been working closely with Murata for some time to secure this for the region and I am pleased that work has now begun on the project, which may lead to further investment by Murata in future.’

Japan is the second-largest Asian supplier of foreign direct investment projects to the UK. According to figures by the NWDA, in 2008-09 it contributed 81 new projects and created 1,405 new jobs for the UK. The latest deal is expected to provide increased skills and equipment to advance the university’s nanotechnology projects.

Yukio Sakabe, senior corporate advisor of Murata, said: ‘We, Murata, feel very happy and honoured to be able to start collaboration works with Manchester University, with help from the NWDA. I am convinced that new technology and business in the field of nanotechnology are realised in the future from this project, collaborating with the basic science of the university and the engineering of Murata.’

Prof Paul O’Brien, professor of Inorganic Materials at Manchester University, added: ‘I very much welcome this collaboration with Murata, which provides access to skills and equipment in Japan and training for a Japanese scientist in some leading-edge aspects of nanotechnology in my laboratories.’