The company Ossila Ltd has developed a range of products targeted at
developers of organic electronic devices, with products based on know-how
derived from research within the Soft Matter Physics (SMP) group in the
Department of Physics and Astronomy. The company also supplies
research-based services to technical markets around the world. Since its
establishment in 2010, the company has grown organically, and now has a
growing revenue stream that makes it a sustainable profit-making entity,
with 85% of its products sold to overseas markets. The company enjoys
rapid growth and currently employs 10 people (~7 FTE equivalent). Ossila's
financial turn-over has increased by between 50-100% annually, [text
removed for publication].
Raman thermography, a new technique for measuring channel temperature in
semiconductor electronic devices developed at the University of Bristol,
has been used by many companies to characterise their semiconductor
devices. The technology has enabled companies to develop more robust,
reliable, higher performing devices and circuits for high-end space,
radar, communication and power conversion applications. This is
illustrated here in detail on the example of the company, United
Monolithic Semiconductor (UMS) (Germany-France), which used the technique
to improve the lifetime of its Gallium Nitride (GaN) and Gallium Arsenide
(GaAs) semiconductor devices so that they meet customer requirements for
product qualification. Corresponding impact resulted for the companies
TriQuint (USA), Northrup Grumman (USA), QinetiQ (UK), Selex Galileo (UK
& Italy), NXP (UK & Netherlands), Thales Alenia Spaciale (France),
Sharp (Japan) and Hitachi Cable (Japan).
University research and expertise in materials and photonics relevant to
data storage has influenced strategic investment decision-making within
Seagate Technology resulting in the creation of 85 new R&D positions
in the UK announced in 2010. These new jobs were part of an £60M
investment that saw a re-allocation of corporate budget from the USA and
resulted in significant expansion of Seagate Technology's UK based R&D
capacity. The investment was made to support their medium-term technology
roadmap plans. Seagate Technology is the world-leading manufacturer and
supplier of data storage technology in the form of disk drives, employing
53,000 people worldwide.
Impact: Health and Economic Gains:
Research has led to a wearable light source that provides a new way of
treating many skin cancers and acne. The treatment is safe, convenient,
and easy to use bringing benefits to patients and healthcare providers. In
addition it brings economic benefits to Ambicare Health Ltd, the company
For skin cancer treatment, the device gives effective treatment with much
reduced pain. The simplified treatment procedure allows more patients to
be treated in a clinic session. For acne, the device provides a convenient
at-home treatment without the application of drugs or chemicals.
Skin cancer and acne sufferers, the clinics that treat them and Ambicare
The work was led by Professor Ifor Samuel (PHYESTA) working with
Professor James Ferguson (Ninewells Hospital, Dundee).
The wearable light source has changed treatment in the UK and the
Netherlands. The skin cancer treatment is in regular use at more than 25
clinics, and the acne treatment at more than 250 clinics.
Surrey's Photonics Group has played a pivotal role in understanding and
developing compound semiconductors for use in photonic devices. The
strained-layer quantum well technology proposed and developed in their
research is now incorporated in the vast majority of CD, DVD and blu-ray
systems, in telecommunications and the internet, in computer mice, and in
LEDs for solid-state lighting. Strained-layer quantum well lasers are
manufactured by industry in their millions annually with a market value
estimated in 2009 to be €15bn. Compared to the alternatives; these lasers
offer greater efficiency, which has opened up new applications.
The Group's research has expanded to develop semiconductors for use in
energy generation and combatting climate change, and in novel
photovoltaics, low energy internet communications, and greenhouse gas
detection. The research has led to engagement with the UK government's
energy minister and has stimulated public discussion around the world.
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.
Richard Compton's group at the University of Oxford has developed an
electrochemical sensor which uses multi-walled carbon nanotube electrodes
to detect capsaicin molecules and related capsaicinoids — the chemicals
responsible for the hot taste of chilli peppers. The technology, patented
in 2008, has been licensed to the English Provender Company, which uses
the sensors to perform quality assurance on 10 tonnes of incoming chillies
every month, as well as monitoring reproducibility of finished products.
In February 2013 Singapore-based Bio-X obtained an exclusive licence for
the patent in Asia to develop, build and sell devices on a global basis.
The science behind the technology has been the subject of significant
outreach activities at UK schools, and has attracted extensive media