Secretary of State impressed with University's business collaborations

01 Jun 2012 12:15:33.290

PA 152/12

Business Secretary Vince Cable visited The University of Nottingham yesterday to see the work that the University is doing in collaboration with industry.

The first stop on the Secretary of State’s visit was The University of Nottingham Innovation Park, where Professor David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, highlighted the latest investments on the Park, including the planned £12m GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) funded Centre for Sustainable Chemistry and the site for the £6.7m building forRomax, one of the world’s leading gearbox engineering companies.

At the Innovation Park, Dr. Cable met Dr Ewan Livingstone, General Manager of Industrial Processing Systems at e2v technologies. e2v has licensed a University of Nottingham technology that enables the industrial microwave processing of the mineral vermiculite which is widely used in fireproofing and horticultural markets.

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Dr. Cable saw examples of new technologies developed by undergraduate students at the University. These included CabGrab, a smart phone app invented by Marvin Plummeridge and Greg Burke, for booking taxis from any location worldwide.

Later in the afternoon, Dr. Cable visited the Cummins Innovation Centre for electrical machines at University Park. Cummins Generator Technologies is headquartered in Stamford, Lincolnshire, and is the largest electrical machines manufacturer in the UK. The company has over a century of experience in building electrical machines for the power generation industry and is working closely with the University to develop further applications in the transport sector, which will significantly improve fuel consumption and emissions.

Dr Cable was also given a demonstration by Dr Neil Brown, Chief Engineer at Cummins Generator Technologies, of one of the high speed electrical machines being developed by the University and Cummins.

Speaking about his visit to The University of Nottingham, Vince Cable said: “Collaboration between universities and industry is a key element of the Government’s growth strategy and it’s been very encouraging to see this in action at the University of Nottingham.

“The partnerships it has formed with business, including e2v and Cummins, shows that there are lots of exciting technologies being developed in our universities with huge commercial potential.”

Professor David Greenaway, Vice-Chancellor of The University of Nottingham, said: “The University of Nottingham has always worked very closely with industry and I am very pleased that the Business Secretary was able to see some of these partnerships in action today. We welcome the opportunity to work closely with companies in all sectors and I would encourage businesses to contact us to explore ways in which we can help them to develop new and innovative ideas.”

Also during his visit to Nottingham, Dr. Cable announced funding of over £2 million for two projects that will help the University to continue to strengthen its links with businesses. These include £1.5 million from GlaxoSmithKline (GSK) and the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) for a Chair in Sustainable Chemistry and a further £675,000 from EPSRC for the world’s first liquid surfaces X-ray machine.

GSK is funding a Carbon Neutral Laboratory at The University of Nottingham Innovation Park, and the Chair will be responsible for developing and sharing best practice in green chemistry, as well as developing new collaborations with other institutions and industry partners.

The X-ray Liquid Phase Photoelectron Spectrometer, known as LiPPS, will be based at the Nottingham Nanotechnology and Nanoscience Centre (NNNC) at University Park and will be the world’s first liquid surfaces x-ray machine. The work undertaken in this area has applications in high-value sectors including the semiconductor, aerospace, pharmaceutical and automotive industries.

For more information about The University of Nottingham’s services for business, visit

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More information is available from Nick King, Marketing Projects Manager, Business Engagement and Innovation Services, at The University of Nottingham. +44 (0) 0115 82 32184, or or Tim Utton, Deputy Director, Communications at The University of Nottingham. +44(0)115 846 8092, or

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Notes to editors: The University of Nottingham, described by The Sunday Times University Guide 2011 as ‘the embodiment of the modern international university’, has 40,000 students at award-winning campuses in the United Kingdom, China and Malaysia. It is ranked in the UK's Top 10 and the World's Top 75 universities by the Shanghai Jiao Tong (SJTU) and the QS World University Rankings. It was named ‘the world’s greenest university’ in the UI GreenMetric World University Ranking 2011.

More than 90 per cent of research at The University of Nottingham is of international quality, according to the most recent Research Assessment Exercise. The University’s vision is to be recognised around the world for its signature contributions, especially in global food security, energy & sustainability, and health. The University won a Queen’s Anniversary Prize for Higher and Further Education in 2011, for its research into global food security.

Impact: The Nottingham Campaign, its biggest ever fund-raising campaign, will deliver the University’s vision to change lives, tackle global issues and shape the future. More news

Story credits

More information is available from Nick King, Marketing Projects Manager, Business Engagement and Innovation Services, at The University of Nottingham. +44 (0) 0115 82 32184, or

Tim Utton

Tim Utton - Deputy Director of Communications

Email: Phone: +44 (0)115 846 8092 Location: University Park

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