University of Huddersfield research into surface metrology, carried out
as part of the EU-funded SURFSTAND project, has led to worldwide changes
in manufacturing. Nine ISO standards related to measuring the surface
roughness of parts have been developed as a result, influencing practices
in sectors ranging from aerospace and automotive engineering to
microelectronics and bio-implant production. Consequently, all
quantitative 3D surface measurement carried out in the world now draws on
the research. Instrument manufacturers and the National Physical
Laboratory have also implemented the standards, while software developed
as part of the research has been incorporated by a leading industrial
partner, significantly enhancing the company's offering and market
This case study describes the impact of interdisciplinary research at MMU
that has focused on the development and characterisation of hygienic and
antimicrobial surfaces across a range of applications, particularly with
regard to food hygiene, which in turn impacts on food quality, reduced
waste and consumer health across the international food industry. This
20-year collaboration has enabled identification and specification of
properties of putative hygienic/antimicrobial surfaces, whilst testing
them in vitro and in situ. This research has had international impacts in
areas including health (cross-contamination) hygienic design (food
processing), and development of standards for testing novel materials.
A team of Portsmouth researchers has developed a transparent polymer
coating that prevents colonising bacteria from adhering to the surfaces of
teeth. In addition to protecting from decay, the polymer coating has the
added benefits of reducing dental erosion, alleviating root
hypersensitivity, and inhibiting the staining of teeth. GlaxoSmithKline
(GSK) has adopted this technology and the polymer has been successfully
developed into a component of "next-generation" oral healthcare products.
Super-repellent surfaces created by plasmachemical techniques invented at
Durham University have been exploited by P2i as the Ion-mask™
and Adiron™ brands and used to protect the surfaces of millions
of products worldwide including: 3 million pairs of footwear (Timberland,
Hi- Tec); 8 million mobile phones (Nokia, Motorola, Alcatel); 60% of the
world's hearing aids (HLT, GN Resound); 55,000 feet of filter media
(Porvair); and 100 million pipette tips (Eppendorf). This has earned P2i
industry awards including the 2011 and 2012 International Business Award
for "Most Innovative Company in Europe" and the "Global Business
Excellence Award" 2012. The combined turnover of P2i since 2008 was ca.
£20M, it received external investment of £31.75M and has created 115 new
jobs. A DU IP-holding spin-out company, Surface Innovations, was purchased
by P2i in 2010, and further applications of DU plasmachemical
functionalization were commercialized by Dow Corning Plasma Solutions Ltd
and exploited in-period.
Cranfield's research into ultra-precision machining and production
science has led to new production machines, and to commercial availability
of advanced optical surfaces, at a level of accuracy previously
impossible. Cranfield's industrial clients have won contracts for advanced
surface production worth >£5 million in under five years. Cranfield
Research on the environmental safety and toxicity of nanomaterials in fishes has had a global
impact across both government and industry contributing to:
(i) Consensus building on biological effects allowing regulatory agencies/governments to
make proper decisions on the hazard of nanomaterials to farmed fish and wildlife.
(ii) Critical evaluation of the internationally agreed process of toxicity testing to determine
whether the current legislative test methods are fit for purpose and acceptable to the
(iii) Identification of national/international research priorities and policies via work with the
OECD and the US Government.
(iv) Influencing government policy to support training and information for industry.
Two books and review/research articles in Italian have disseminated the
findings from the underpinning research on creating false autobiographical
memories and the dangers of inadequate interviewing techniques. This work
has critically increased awareness in the Italian legal system amongst
both barristers and judges, to the point of shaping the practice of
interviewing witnesses in that country. It has also informed all verdicts
on child sexual abuse by the Supreme Court of Cassation.
In 2008-2009 the UK was subject to legal infraction proceedings at the
European Court of Justice
(ECJ) for allegedly failing to implement the European Union's Urban
Directive (UWWTD). Research by the Institute of Estuarine and Coastal
Studies, Hull (IECS) for
the Environment Agency (EA)/Defra provided evidence to the UK Government
for its defence
against these allegations. The research consisted of:
- literature/data reviews and collection and analysis of critical
evidence from the Humber.
- co-ordinating workshops and convening an expert panel of sufficient
opinion to counteract the European Court of Justice allegations.
In December 2009 the European Court of Justice ruled in favour of the UK.
Our research therefore
helped to save very significant, unnecessary capital investment in
nutrient removal technology for
sewage treatment nationally and in the Yorkshire and Humber region
especially. The UK
government thus avoided the possibility of major European Commission fines
of up to €703,000
per day, or €256m per annum, for infraction of the Urban Water-water
Treatment Directive .
Ehiasarian and Hovsepian of the Materials and Engineering Research
Institute (MERI) have achieved significant economic impact through
industrial uptake of their innovations in High Power Impulse Magnetron
Sputtering (HIPIMS). Exploiting these innovations, HIPIMS treatments have
been used by manufacturers to enhance the surface properties of millions
of pounds worth of products. Applications include industrial blades,
components within jet turbines, replacement hip joints, metallised
semiconductor wafers and satellite cryo-coolers. Patents based on
Ehiasarian and Hovsepian's research have achieved commercial success. In
the REF impact period, HIPIMS machines equipped to deliver MERI''s HIPIMS
surface pre-treatment have achieved sales of over £5m, and income
generated through SHU's HIPIMS-related licences has totalled £403,270.
In 2010 Ehiasarian's group established the Joint Sheffield Hallam
University-Fraunhofer IST HIPIMS Research Centre, the first such
Centre in the UK. This has broadened the industrial uptake of MERI's
HIPIMS technologies and stimulated a network of sub-system providers.
This case study concerns the impact of Plymouth University research
relating to farmed fish diets,
which led to changes to EU legislation with respect to two types of
ingredients: animal proteins and
probiotics. The impact of the reintroduction of certain animal proteins in
farmed fish feeds
(previously banned to protect human health) and to the authorization of a
probiotic as a feed
additive, involved industry investment in research, have reduced the
environmental impact of
farmed fishing, improved competitiveness, enhanced yield and quality and
improved fish health