It has been a successful year for the eight Innovation Centres based at TWI, who have secured a high level of funding through Innovate UK and the European Commission.
With the new projects secured, publications released, and new staff recruited, each of the eight centres has continued to grow throughout 2017:
The Brunel Innovation Centre (BIC) has achieved 13 publications, including many for high impact journals, whilst securing £2.4 million of new projects, and more than 17 new members of staff recruited in 2017 to deliver research projects.
The London South Bank Innovation Centre (LSBIC) had six papers published and secured £700,000 in funding for four Innovate UK projects, while recruiting a technical manager, two project coordinators and three researchers.
Advanced Resins and Coatings Innovation Centre (ARCTIC) has made three publications and recruited one visiting professor, one project coordinator, three researchers and two PhD students, making 2017 yet another year of growth.
Smart Asset Management Innovation Centre (SAMIC) with over £900,000 of funding won, two researchers and a project coordinator were recruited in 2017. The centre is looking at recruiting more researchers in 2018.
The Healthcare Innovation Centre (HIC) was established in February 2017 and has submitted proposals to a number of funding bodies. Having also won three Innovate UK projects with over £200,000 of funding, researchers will join the centre in 2018 to deliver the research projects won. HIC is also in the process of recruiting a PhD student to be based at TWI in Cambridge, to undertake research with the National Structural Integrity Research Centre (NSIRC).
Joining 4.0 Innovation Centre (J4IC) was established in April 2017 and has already secured £200,000 in funding for an Innovate UK project, hired a PhD student, and is now setting about the recruitment process for researchers.
Brunel Composites Innovation Centre (BCC) - This second Innovation Centre associated with Brunel is waiting on the outcome of proposals submitted to different research bodies in order to develop new composite technologies. Meanwhile, a first PhD student was recruited in October 2017 to progress research on data transfer through composite risers for the oil and gas industry.
Materials Innovation Centre (MatIC) is the newest of the Innovation Centres. Having officially launched in the last quarter of 2017, the centre will welcome a new director before the end of the year.
While TWI has already launched eight Innovation Centres, the coming months will see further centres opened towards advancing research in polymers, data science and other areas. In order to achieve this, negotiations are underway for collaborations with new universities, while fresh job opportunities are being created and new products developed as funding opportunities are explored.
Closing the skills and gender gap in industry
The work of the Innovation Centres shows how TWI is determined to close the gap between academia and industry, while also aiming to expand the number of research centres and staff in order to continue as a world leader in R&D.
As well as pushing for more skilled engineers, there is a drive to close the gender gap through the Innovation Centres. For example, 60% of ARCTIC staff, 40% of LSBIC staff and 23% of BIC staff are female. In total, 31% of the staff employed by the Innovation Centres are female, while outreach programs seek to promote engineering and offer research opportunities to a new generation.
You can find out more about the Innovation Centres - visit our website or contact us for more details.