Nottingham University lands medical and food technology grants

Researchers from Nottingham University have received a total of £10.2m to develop novel medical devices and advance sustainable food production.

A new Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Food will be led by the University’s School of Biosciences with funding worth £4.5m from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC).

Similarly, the University will also be involved in a new Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Medical Devices, with another EPSRC grant of £5.7m to pioneer healthcare technology of the future.

The Centres are two of four announced yesterday by the EPSRC in a £21m drive to develop new ways of manufacturing in the fields of electronics, lasers in production processes, medical technology and food production.

It is part of a £45m package of investments in manufacturing research announced today by David Willetts, minister for Universities and Science.

According to Nottingham University, the ultimate aim of the new EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Food is to ensure the long-term competitiveness and security of the UK and global food supply chain.

Leading the centre, Dr Tim Foster from the University’s Division of Food Sciences, said, ‘Our vision is to meet the future scientific and technological requirements of the food industry from post-farm gate to supermarket shelf. To do this we need to develop world-leading technologies, tools and processes tailored to the specific needs of individual food products.

‘Food and Drink is the biggest manufacturing sector in the UK and with an expected rapid growth in ‘better value’ and healthier products, particularly for the ageing population, we need to innovate to increase productivity — to produce more from less — while preserving natural resources like water and energy and minimise waste generation.’

Nottingham University’s Engineering Faculty was also successful in a joint bid, with Leeds, Newcastle, Bradford and Sheffield with support from industry, for an EPSRC Centre for Innovative Manufacturing in Medical Devices.

Professor of Materials Science and Head of Advanced Materials Research Group, David Grant, said, ‘The EPSRC Centre in Innovative Manufacturing in Medical Devices will research and develop advanced methods for functionally stratified design and near patient manufacturing, to enable cost effective matching of device function to the patient needs and surgical environment.

‘The idea is to deliver the right product, by the right process to the right patient at the right time to an enhanced standard of reliability and performance.

‘These innovative design and manufacturing advances will focus in the first instance on class 3 medical devices for musculoskeletal disease, where the cost of device failure and need for throughout life reliability are high.’