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Welcome to the first edition of Research@Bath, a new newsletter designed to keep you informed and up to date with developments in research at the University of Bath. Our research activities are constantly developing and by providing this newsletter on a regular basis, we hope you will find new and relevant activities to have impact on your business and organisation.
I am proud to be Vice Chancellor of one of the UK’s top 20 research-intensive universities. The University has an active externally funded research portfolio that exceeds £100m and we have achieved record research income in the 2008/09 financial year. At Bath we aim for research excellence, whether that is in our comprehensive STEM (Science, Technology, Engineering, Mathematics) subjects, our breadth of social sciences, or our world class Management School. Research at Bath is totally committed to addressing the major societal challenges of our era and coverage of the range of relevant research interests will be an ongoing feature of
Our research excellence is an achievement that reflects the quality and commitment of our academics. It is their ideas and interests that attract our key research funders and it is exciting to see significant new investments continually being made in our core research programmes.
We are strongly committed to making the knowledge we generate relevant and available. Nowadays, I see a stream of new businesses and organisations working with the University through collaborative and contract research, KTP, CPD or one of the many other vehicles that we have available for ensuring we develop good partnerships. We welcome new relationships.
In addition to our excellent research, I could not introduce Research@Bath without mentioning the quality of our graduates, many of whom have undertaken placements or are employed in leading industrial and commercial organisations. In an employer survey this year, the quality of University of Bath graduates was ranked as 27th highest in the world - and this is in comparison to the graduates of thousands of universities all over the world. Our broad significance in educating STEM graduates has also recently been recognised by Government with the University of Bath being appointed to lead the SW region as part of a new £21m initiative to explore new approaches to recruiting and delivering STEM disciplines and engaging with regional employers. If you have not yet collaborated with the University of Bath, I hope that reading Research@Bath will provide an insight into what can be achieved and encourage you to join the many others who are enjoying and benefiting from working with us.
For more information please contact Fi Lang,
Research Development Officer Email: F.Lang@bath.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)1225 38 5234
first Research@Bath newsletter
Professor Glynis Breakwell
issue 1 • sPRinG2010
2. Knowledge Transfer Account (KTA)...
3. New Centre for Digital
4. KTP Case Study: Herbal Medicine industry
5. Aerospace Industry
The University of Bath has been awarded £3.4 million by the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), from a £44 million fund, allocated to maximise the impact of EPSRC funded research. The University is one of only twelve UK Universities to have won the funding to establish a Knowledge Transfer Account (KTA). The KTA will afford research outputs to be more easily adopted by end users, such as businesses and charities, in addition to generating greater impact both socially and economically.
We have developed flexible strategies to fully utilise the KTA funding, the project having begun on 1st October 2009, which aims for match-funded commitment from the end user interested in taking on or adopting the knowledge developed at the University.
We have also formed an Impact Assessment Group which meets monthly to review the high-impact potential of projects, making funding and resource allocation decisions.
Neil Poulter Department of Chemistry , who was employed using the KTA grant with the purpose-built plasma reactor for anti-microbial film deposition.
The University of Bath’s KTA proposal was co-developed by the Research Development and Support Office (RDSO) and Bath Ventures. Jon Hunt, Project Director of the KTA, anticipates the KTA will develop an environment which encourages the translation of research:
“This award builds on the University’s reputation of working with businesses to develop ideas into opportunities that benefit the economy and the wider society”.
Left to right: Dr. Jon Hunt, Head of RD&C and Project Director of the KTA; Dr. Eamonn O’Neil, Department of Computer Science and KTA awardee; Dr. Denise Cooke, KTA Project Manager”.
For further information please contact: Dr. Jon Hunt
KTA Project Director Email: J.Hunt@bath.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)1225 38 4479 Dr. Denise Cooke KTA Project Manager Email: D.Cooke@bath.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)1225 38 3622
Knowledge Transfer Account (KTA)...
The Centre for Digital Entertainment (CDE) is a new collaboration between the Universities of Bath and Bournemouth, and a host of industry partners from the computer animation, games and visual effects industries. The CDE has been awarded £6.3 Million initial funding from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) in order to train the next generation of leaders in computer animation, computer games, digital effects and film post-production companies.
The future will see a total of 50 Doctoral students engaged on research projects, allowing the University of Bath to collaborate with major companies in the Creative Industry in a variety of ways, including events to bring them all together. The EPSRC funds two thirds of the four year professional Doctorate, reducing the cost to industry, with 75% of the time spent in the business on an innovative project. Professor Phil Willis, Director of the CDE and Head of the Department of Computer Science at the University of Bath, said the EPSRC funds will “provide a
wonderful opportunity and is exactly the right time to put skills investment in place, ready for the economic recovery”.
David Allen, Research Portfolio Manager for Advanced Engineering and Creative Industries in RDSO, is the Senior Project Manager of the CDE and has worked closely throughout 2009 to set up the Centre with Professor Phil Willis. The Centre officially began to operate in October 2009 and Engineering Doctorate students from Bath and Bournemouth are now being agreed with industry.
The Centre is working with some enthusiastic, leading companies, such as Aardman Animations in Bristol, of Wallace & Gromit fame; Double Negative in London, whose recent credits include The Dark Knight and the last two Harry Potter films; and Frontier Developments in Cambridge, creating games such as
Lost Winds, a computer game adventure developed by Frontier Developments, one of the games industry’s leading independent developers collaborating with the CDE.
The Centre has also received a high profile in the press with dedicated articles in The Times, The Independent and The Financial Times as well as Computer Gaming publications.
If you would like to find out more about the CDE and its Engineering Doctorates please contact:
Research Portfolio Manager for Advanced Engineering and Creative Industries Email: D.Allen@bath.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)1225 38 5479 Katja Haferburg Project Co-ordinator Email: K.Haferburg@bath.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)1225 38 6465
Alternatively please see the CDE website: www.digital-entertainment.org
A wonderful opportunity and
is exactly the right time to put
skills investment in place, ready
for the economic recovery.
The Knowledge Transfer Partnership (KTP) team in RDSO brings together academics and businesses on strategic projects, through placing associates in industry. The KTP programme is funded by the Technology Strategy Board (TSB), along with other government organisations, with the aim to advance business through knowledge, technology and skills, which derive from the UK knowledge base. It is one of Europe’s largest graduate recruitment programmes.
One partnership which the KTP team have been instrumental in developing is between Pukka Herbs Ltd, a company devoted to organic farming, fair trade and personal wellbeing, and the Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacology at the University of Bath. As one of the top four Pharmacy Departments in the UK it celebrates outstanding success in the latest RAE (Research Assessment Exercise) results, confirming its research as ‘internationally excellent’. The aim of this particular KTP was to develop a Quality Assurance and Quality Control system, through the expertise in the University department, to enable the company to register herbal medicinal products under the EU directive 2004/24/EC. The new regulation requires a license for such products in order to stay in the herbal industry market after 2011. Quality Assurance is critical in achieving this. The University of Bath associate, Jana Mitchelsova, placed with Pukka Herbs Ltd to transfer knowledge, was key in the development.
Academic lead Dr. Mike Rowan, Department of Pharmacy and Pharmacololgy, had not previously been involved in a KTP but ‘found the contact with the commercial sector to be interesting and stimulating’. Sebastian Pole, Herbal Director of Pukka Herbs Ltd, also found the partnership to be a valuable opportunity as it offered ‘benefit from the rigorous academic attention to detail in the complex area of plant sciences’. Research findings have been presented at two conferences and are expected to be published in Planta Medica, one of the leading international journals in the field of medicinal plants and natural products.
The KTP team in RDSO provides support in the drafting and submission of KTP proposals. After the award of a programme the team assists in appointing associates and post-award management.
For further information please contact David Cockayne,
Head of KTP.
Email: J.D.Cockayne@bath.ac.uk Tel: +44 (0)1225 38 6535
Quality Assurance for the Herbal Medicine industry
Sebastian Pole, Herbal Director
of Pukka Herbs Ltd, also found
the partnership to be a valuable
opportunity as it offered “benefit
from the rigorous academic
attention to detail in the
The South West of England is the most significant Aerospace region in the UK and is home to one of the largest concentrations of aerospace and defence companies in the world with diverse capabilities, employing 43,000 people directly and 100,000 indirectly. The West of England Aerospace Forum (WEAF) is the Trade Association for the industry and has been working with the University of Bath on a national industry project known as SC21 (21st Century Supply Chains).
The SC21 Programme aims to raise the effectiveness of the aerospace and defence supply chains through managed interventions of professional support in the region’s Small Medium Enterprises (SME’s), led by both Prime companies and WEAF. Over 530 companies have signed up to SC21 nationally and 110 of these are in the South West.
David Allen, Research Portfolio Manager for Advanced Engineering and Creative Industries in RDSO, has been the project manager for SC21 for the South West of England since September 2008 as a collaborative venture with WEAF.
We work closely with WEAF to help businesses make significant efficiency and cost savings. A number of SC21 awareness events have been held across the region, providing presentations on the programmes and advice for the industry delegates.
The University of Bath’s direct working relationship with WEAF; Industry; MoD; and SWRDA has led to broad discussions with industry leaders, creating a wide network of contacts and opportunities for future projects.
These include recent involvement in a regional Innovation Network proposal and attracting industrial partners for research in a number of fields including metrology, machining and logistics.
If you are interested in collaborating with the University of Bath in Advanced Engineering please contact:
Research Portfolio Manager for Advanced Engineering and Creative Industries. Email: D.Allen@bath.ac.uk
Tel: +44 (0)1225 38 5479
For more information on WEAF and SC21 please see the following websites:
The University of Bath’s direct
working relationship with WEAF,
Industry, MoD and SWRDA has
led to broad discussions with
industry leaders, creating a
wide network of contacts and
opportunities for future projects.
The University of Bath has been awarded funding through the prestigious KT-EQUAL consortium to deliver a series of events focusing on issues relating to ageing and disability. A diverse calendar of activities is planned covering topics including falls prevention, effects of physical activity, care homes, digital inclusion and pain and ageing.
The KT-Equal consortium includes key academics from the Universities of Bath, Edinburgh, Sheffield, Cambridge, Reading, Loughborough and Salford. Its overall goal is to enhance the quality of life and wellbeing of older and disabled people. Over the next four years KT-EQUAL will develop the evidence and knowledge to inform solutions which enhance the quality of life and wellbeing for older and disabled people. The significance of ageing is becoming of increasing relevance with population projections rising most quickly amongst the oldest age groups. Latest government statistics project the number of people 85 and over to more than double over the next 25 years.
The funding for this new and prestigious Knowledge Transfer Consortium was provided by the Engineering and Physical and Sciences Research Council
(EPSRC), specifically to exploit research into ageing and disability. KT-EQUAL succeeds both the EQUAL Network and SPARC (Strategic Promotion of Ageing Research Capacity), which together span a decade of investment from the EPSRC.
Bath’s involvement with the consortium is being led by Professor Christopher Eccleston, Deputy Head of School for Health and Director of the Centre for Pain Research.
If you are interested in the application of research in ageing then please contact:
Heather Williams Project Officer
Email: H.Williams@bath.ac.uk Tel: +44(0)1225 38 5128.
For wider interest of collaborative research in Healthy Living and Life Sciences please contact:
Dr. Alison Evans
Research Portfolio Manager (Healthy Living and Life Sciences) Email: A.J.Evans@bath.ac.uk Tel: +44(0)1225 38 3350
Left to right: Heather Williams, KT Equal Project Officer; Prof. Christopher Eccleston, Deputy Head of School for Health and Director of KT Equal; Dr. Ali Evans, Research Portfolio Manager in RD&C and KT Equal Project Officer in the Human Cardiovascular Research Laboratory.