This case study focuses on the development and usage of self-help
material designed to aid people in feeling and performing better. It has
achieved impact through raising awareness via mass media and professional
outlets. Research informed self-help materials are available for open
access via media links, academic organisations, service organisations
(NHS), commercial organisations (London Marathon), national governing
bodies (Research Councils), and professional bodies (British Association
of Sport and Exercise Sciences). An on-line project, run in conjunction
with BBC Lab
UK, developed and tested self-help interventions with 75,000 users
each receiving personalised feedback from former Olympian Michael Johnson.
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.
Working with TMO Renewables Ltd, work in Dr Leak's laboratory at Imperial
that thermophilic bacteria of the genus Geobacillus could use a novel
(i.e. non-textbook) route to
produce ethanol. TMO used this information to develop strains that
produced ethanol in
commercially useful quantities from lignocellulose breakdown products.
This allowed them to: (i)
compete for and win a major contract ($500M over 20 years) with Fiberight
in the USA in 2010, to
turn fermentable components of municipal solid waste into biofuel, (ii)
enter into partnership
agreements with the China National Offshore Oil Corporation and the China
National Cereals, Oils
and Foodstuffs Corporation in 2011, and (iii) enter into agreements in
2012 and 2013 with Usina
Santa Maria Cerquilho to build a bioethanol production facility in Brazil.
The most recent
agreement with Brazil will create more than 150 new jobs in the UK. At the
end of 2011, TMO
Renewables reported a net worth of almost £11million.
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.
Mathematically-based image processing techniques developed at the
University of Cambridge have helped bring about a revolution in the
ability to extract quantitative measurements from laboratory experiments
in fluids. Techniques and software tools developed from this research and
incorporated into commercial software are now used in engineering, physics
and mathematics research laboratories around the world on projects ranging
from fundamental research to ones with strong industrial connections.
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
Knowledge of the three-dimensional structures of macromolecules is a
understanding their function at the atomic level, an essential component
of modern drug
development. Most structures are determined by X-ray crystallography: the
molecular replacement (MR, which exploits known structures of related
proteins), and about half of
the remainder using single-wavelength anomalous diffraction (SAD). The
software, developed by Read and colleagues, implements powerful new
for MR and SAD phasing and has made a large impact, accelerating over the
At the pharma giant, AstraZeneca, Phaser is considered the "tool of
choice" for solving structures
Essex research identified a novel bioprocessing matrix which has since
been developed into
commercial products and recently launched into external markets by Porvair
Filtration Group Ltd.
The discovery involved the chemical modification of sintered thermoplastic
materials in order to
attach biological molecules, so conferring highly specific functionalised
properties to an otherwise
inert base material. This enabled a new approach for protein
immobilisation, having technical and
practical advantages over existing processes. As a direct result, Porvair
has adopted a new
technology and invested £900k in R&D over eight years. Essex research
has supported a change
in business strategy, enabling entry into new markets, which has in turn
both safeguarded and
created jobs at Porvair.
Over 25 years, research by Hendry and Stevenson has explored the specific
challenges faced by Make-to-Order (MTO) manufacturing companies and
developed a novel Workload Control (WLC) approach, which has been most
notably implemented in PDS Engineering. This led to significant increases
in successful bids and reductions in lead times for PDS, with a knock on
effect through their supply chain that includes large aerospace companies
like Rolls-Royce. Publication of this stream of research led to
international collaborations including in the Netherlands and Belgium,
where an EU project involving 10 firms and further consultancy work has
also led to reductions in lead times, typically of over 50%. The WLC
approach is now ready for commercialisation in the UK.
Research led by Dr Brian Singer on techniques for analysing artists'
materials has helped museum and gallery conservators develop treatments
through a sound knowledge of the materials present. Publications by
conservators (2008-11) reference the research and, in relation to
high-profile works by Munch, cite changes in practice that have enhanced
the continuing availability of this artist's oeuvre. The same research has
supported the estate of Francis Bacon, assisting its authentication
committee to define authenticity and date of unattributed works for
inclusion in Bacon's catalogue raisonné. Singer's research and methods
have ultimately benefited the wider public, ensuring engagement with 20th
Century art in the long term.