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The Polymer Centre

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The Polymer Centre Powered By Docstoc
					Establishing and Sustaining
a Research Centre

Dr Malcolm Butler


       www.polymercentre.org.uk
               Contents

   About the Polymer Centre now
   A bit of History
   Why become a Research Centre?
   Advantages of being a Research Centre
   Barriers, Pitfalls (and Solutions)
   Operational Systems and Procedures
   Conclusions
                                                Physics
                        Chemistry

                        The Polymer Centre
                         Established in June 2001
                            41 Academic staff
 Clinical                                                       Engineering
                         >140 Research workers                   Materials
Dentistry
                           £24m funding 06/07




             Clinical          Chemical and Process       Mechanical
            Sciences              Engineering             Engineering
                Organisation


                                         Members
Sheffield Uni                           40 academics
SUEL, OCP, RO                         100+ researchers

                  Polymer Centre

2000 contacts                           FaraPack
                                      Polymers Ltd
                   Polymer IRC
                   Leeds, Bradford,
                       Durham
                 Objective

   To market the expertise and facilities in polymer
    science and technology at Sheffield to industry
    with a view to collaborative work

   To benefit
    – industry through innovation to aid growth
    – our members with new ideas and funding
               Outputs

   Research
   Trained polymer scientists and engineers
   Knowledge and technology transfer
   Commercial exploitation of inventions
                   Working with industry

   Marketing
    – WWW, brochures, networking, mailshots
   Knowledge transfer
    – Training (one day courses to degrees)
    – Conferences and seminars
   Technology transfer
    –   Short-term feasibility projects
    –   Consultancy and testing services
    –   Collaborative and contract research projects
    –   Commercialisation of technology
      Marketing and communication




www.polymercentre.org.uk
UK Polymer Showcase: Sept. 2005

                                   Themes for 2005
                                   • Polymers 2020
                                   • Polymers and
                                   • Sustainability
                                   • Self Assembly
                                   • Protein Polymer
                                     Interactions
                                   • Soft Functional
                                     Devices



 200 delegates: 50% industry; 50% academia
                 Short term (up to a week)

   Consultancy
    – Problem solving, brainstorming
   Polymer Centre Business Research Fellow
    – Literature searches, 1-2 days in the lab
   Testing and analysis
    – Bespoke programmes on advanced facilities
   Training courses
    – For industry and students
                Long term (6 months or more)

   Postdocs, PhD studentships
   External support feasible
    – TSB, EU FP7, Research Councils, etc.
   Knowledge Transfer Partnerships
   Multi-party projects
             Technology transfer…
Cadbury Schweppes
                      DuPont SA (Advansa)
      Masterfoods
                               Arizona Chemical
               TissueMed
 Unilever                  Authentix
               Amorim
      Xaar                      Biocompatibles
              Sun Chemical
   De La Rue
                Airbus Amcor Flexibles
   Avecia                  ColorMatrix
                  DSTL
                                      Goodrich
     Food Research Association
                                     Syngenta
CP Films Controlled Therapeutics
               4 years of industrial outreach

   4 spin-out companies
   20 technologies being commercialised
   Growth of IRC industrial club
   > £800k for non-commercial projects

                       Wildfire Snowsports Ltd
                 Research directions I

   Designed polymers
    – Specialist packaging and new materials
   Polymer electronics
    – Transistors, photovoltaics
   Responsive “smart” structures
    – Sensor devices and self-monitoring
      composites
                Research directions II

   Materials / life sciences interface
    – Tissue engineering and dental implants
   Soft nanotechnology
    – Self-organised systems, “molecular
      machines”
   Engineering polymers
    – Composites, modelling, vibration damping
      and tribology
A bit of History: 1915 - 2003
                1. Why become a Research
                Centre?
   Size – breadth and depth
   Compete on global (or national) scale
   Encourage multi-disciplinary links
   Raise profile
   Serendipity!
    – University of Lancaster
    – ‘Found’ 30 academics in UoS
    – Funding opportunities!
                4 years of industrial outreach

   > 800 enquiries
   2000 contacts in database
   27 short courses, attracting > 400 people
   200 delegates at Open Day
               2. Advantages of being a
               Research Centre
 Researcher
 Department
 University
All
  –Increased income, £££
  –Higher profile (internally and
  externally)
  –Resources for writing large project
  proposals, e.g. METRC
  –Increased collaboration: UoS, UK,
  RoW, industry
                   Benefits of Centre to…


   Researcher
    – Income from Collaboration on projects
    – Income for individual
       • Personal
       • For discretionary fund
    – Collective power (40 academics, £24m similar to Dept)
    – Immediately available manpower to support project and
      proposals
    – Source of new ideas and stimulation
    – Relationship building with industry
                 Benefits of Centre to…


 Department
  –   Increased income for Department
  –   Attract and retain key staff (RAE)
  –   Collaborative projects (inside and outside UoS)
  –   Support to project proposals
  –   Availability of ‘local’ industrial and KT knowledge
               Benefits of Centre to…

 University
  –   Global reputation
  –   Income from overheads
  –   Relationship building with industry
  –   Single point of contact
               Marketing & Promotion

 Customer contacts             Conferences & events
 Website/adwords                – Ours and others
 Articles/media coverage     Leaflets etc.
 Directories                 Word of mouth
 Mailshots                   Collaborations
 50 page Prospectus          Customer database

 • Recognition: The Guardian, Lord Sainsbury,
 Polymer IRC, Vice-Chancellor (and PVCs), dti,
 Yorkshire Forward, N8, Executive Recruitment
 consultants!
                3. Barriers, Pitfalls (and
                Solutions) – sustainability?
   Lead academic
   Central coordination/presence
    – Plus core funding
   Integration
   Motivation for buy-in
   Raise profile
                                 Open Day Timetable
1015 – 1245                      - >200 delegates
 Opening address by David Bott (Director - Group Technology, ICI)
 “Soft nanotechnology” - Philip Ball (Consultant Editor for Nature)
 “An overview of the Polymer Centre” - Dr M A Butler
 “Polymer supported catalysis” - Dr P Styring
 “Plasma polymers for adhesion control” - Dr H Sugihahra
 “Organic light-emitting diodes” - Dr D Lidzey
 “High throughput polymer characterisation” - Dr P Fairclough
 “Passive active foams for crashworthiness, sound management, and
   electromagnetic packages” - Dr F Scarpa
 “Biomaterial surfaces” - Dr A Shard
1245 – 1430 Lunch & Poster Session
 Over 70 posters to view and discuss
1430 – 1530 Optional Tours
– Chemistry and Eng. Materials
                       ‘Solutions’ for
                       Research Centre

• Define scope & target resource
• Operational Manager needed
      And ‘resource buffer’
•   Agree cost and revenue distribution
•   Target markets, but remain flexible
•   Create a demand (market pull)
•   Communication (internally and externally)
•   Obtain buy-in from all stakeholders
•   Critical mass (size and reputation)
                      Commercial Centre: Good practice
                      and particularly successful outcomes 1
Of particular note are the successful outcomes with respect
  to:
 the range and depth of marketing materials in a variety of media
 the quantity of contacts made (and hence the raised industrial profile)
    which included over 1000 direct interactions with customers and a
    further 500 targeted via mail-shots.
   the high level of industrial attendance at the one-day courses (and the
    repeat business attracted)
   the enhanced and highly rated website that has seen activity grow
    three fold
   the launch and financial success of FaraPack Polymers Ltd in only 12
    months
   developing the capacity to service a wider range of short-term industry
    needs via FaraPack Polymers Ltd, appointment of a Business
    Research Fellow, and networking with Departments.
                      Commercial Centre: Good practice
                      and particularly successful outcomes 2

Of particular note are the successful outcomes with respect
  to:
 the success of the demonstrator projects in stimulating further income
    (both from industry and further research) and moving many projects
    through the commercialisation process.
   the number of commercialisation opportunities stimulated, identified
    and progressing towards licensing, spin-out or joint venture (about
    15% of all University activity in this area)
   the integration with the Polymer IRC, creating a globally significant
    entity, and the high level of interaction with the Industrial Club
    members
   the advice and assistance given to numerous other University
    ventures
               Barriers, Pitfalls (and
               Solutions) – sustainability?

Sustainability?

    People (academic members)
     – What’s in it for them?
    Financially
     – Depends on cost base
               4. Operational Systems and
               Procedures
   Governance – PC Board
   Finance/budget
   Understanding university systems
   Marketing/Publicity
   Internal Events
   External Events
   Enthusiasm
                   Operational Systems and
                   Procedures
   Finance/budget…(over 5 years)
    –   2003 HEIF 1 £300k
    –   2004 HEIF 2 £80k
    –   2005 Yorkshire Forward £420k
    –   2005 Project Management £80k of £3m
    –   2006 HEIF 3 £80k
    –   2006 Wonderland £10k of £160k
    –   2007 Proposal Building (N8) £323k
    –   2007 Proof of concept fund £2.4k of £48k
    –   2008 METRC £2m
    –   Direct revenue >£250k
    –   FaraPack Polymers £471k
                 A week to 6 months?

   Universities tend to recruit staff and students to
    individual projects
    – Costs too much for medium-term research, given
      limitations on price and academic time
   Opportunity for a company offering University
    skills, expertise and facilities for medium-term
    projects
         FaraPack Polymers Ltd
         Employs experienced, PhD-qualified staff
         to carry out bespoke projects on
         commercial timescales
           Revenue of £471k; £250k back into University
                 Conclusions

   Higher profile
    – More collaboration
    – Enhanced reputation
   Money
    – Increased income      increased research
    – Some core funds needed
   People
    – Lead academic and manager
    – Critical mass of researchers
   Move from good to great!
Whatever you
want to do with
polymers
we can
probably do
it…
Can Make Water go Uphill
                  Contact
   Dr Malcolm Butler, Manager
    – M.A.Butler@Sheffield.ac.uk
    – 0114 222 9553
 Dr Liam R. Sutton, Technical Enquiries
    – 0114 222 9383
   Ms Shelagh Cowley, Marketing and Events
    – 0114 222 9520
 Mrs Deborah Coupe, General Enquiries
    – 0114 222 9537
   Dr Richard France, METRC
    – 0114 222 9563
   www.polymercentre.org.uk
                        Historical Highlights
   1915 Formation of Department of Glass Manufacture (Prof. WL Turner)
   1963 Polymers added to curriculum with appointment of 2 faculty. Degree courses
    in Polymers established.
   1968 RJ Young appointed in Chemistry
   1970 PV Wright appointed to Department of Ceramics, Glasses and Polymers
   1983 Short course in Polymer Composites (MS Found, IC Howard)
   1985 JE Bailey, FR Jones appointed to CGP
   1989 School of Materials formed by merger with the Department of Metallurgy within
    Faculty of Engineering.
   1989 Appointments of RD Short, G Ungar
   1989 T. McLeish joins Physics Department to initiate continuing research in Polymer
    Physics.
   1993 Formation of Department of Engineering Materials
   1999 Appointments of AJ Ryan, P Fairclough (Chemistry), RAL Jones (Physics)
   2000 Arrival of Lancaster Polymer Group (Chemistry) – 7 academics
                        Historical Highlights
   1915 Formation of Department of Glass Manufacture (Prof. WL Turner)
   1963 Polymers added to curriculum with appointment of 2 faculty. Degree courses
    in Polymers established.
   1968 RJ Young appointed in Chemistry
   1970 PV Wright appointed to Department of Ceramics, Glasses and Polymers
   1983 Short course in Polymer Composites (MS Found, IC Howard)
   1985 JE Bailey, FR Jones appointed to CGP Centre launched at Lancaster
                                   1986 Polymer
   1989 School of Materials formed by merger with the Department of Metallurgy within
                                   University
    Faculty of Engineering.
   1989 Appointments of RD Short, 2000 Academics joining Sheffield:
                                   G Ungar
   1989 T. McLeish joins Physics Department John Ebdon
                                              to initiate continuing research in Polymer
    Physics.                                 Ian Soutar
                                            Barry Hunt
    1993 Formation of Department of Engineering Materials
                                            Linda Swanson
    1999 Appointments of AJ Ryan, P Fairclough (Chemistry), RAL Jones (Physics)
                                            Ahmed Iraqi
    2000 Arrival of Lancaster Polymer Group (Chemistry)
                                             Lance Twyman
                                             Steve Rimmer


     • 2001 Polymer Centre official launched at Sheffield
     • 2003 Malcolm Butler appointed as Manager

				
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