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Knowledge Transfer Network Chemistry Innovation

Chemistry Innovation’s Project Portfolio

Co-ordinating Programmes

5. Industrial Biotechnology Leadership Forum (IBLF) 6. Sustainable Manufacturing for the Process Industries

Co-ordinating European projects

8. Project: CRM_InnoNet- Substitution of Critical Raw Materials 9. Project: BIOCHEM 9. Project: PILLS

Key to unlocking finance

11. KCMC (Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry) 12. BEACON (Biorefining Centre of Excellence Wales) 12. Formulation Centre

Route to marketfor academic programmes 14. Dial-a-Molecule

Nurturing Future Talent

16. Industrial CASE awards

One-to-one support for company growth 18. PhosphonicS 19. Alsitek


This booklet provides a taster of the projects and programmes which Chemistry Innovation delivers or has helped to facilitate. The involvement ranges from championing the establishment of new centres of excellence (e.g Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry, Formulation Centre) through delivering programmes for companies with common interests (e.g Industrial Biotechnology, Sustainable Manufacturing for the Process Industries) to helping individual companies drive their business forward by connecting with new partners and accessing R&D funding. The potential economic impact of Chemistry Innovation’s project portfolio over the next 15 years is estimated to be in excess of £1.3bn. Chemistry Innovation continues to create new collaborations and secure projects to drive further economic growth in the chemistry-using industries. To date, we have helped our member organisations secure 196 projects with a combined value in excess of £241m.


Co-ordinating Programmes

Chemistry Innovation has an important role to play in driving forward key sectors within the chemistry-using industries. Two highlighted here are industrial biotechnology and sustainable manufacturing. Both programmes are expected to deliver a step change in economic impact within the industry.


Industrial Biotechnology Leadership Forum (IBLF) Industrial biotechnology (IB) is one of the key enabling technologies that will allow us to effectively strive for global sustainability while positioning the UK economy with a competitive advantage. The Industrial Biotechnology Leadership Forum (IBLF) is directing the UK’s undeniable strength in fundamental biotechnological research and working to drive industrial awareness, deployment and effective exploitation of these technologies. Investment: £51m - 7 industry-driven feasibility studies, 6 research programmes and 2 centres Potential Impact: £465m Chemistry Innovation’s role: Chemistry Innovation leads the delivery of the IBLF’s strategy, working with Biosciences KTN and alongside other key stakeholders.

“Chemoxy International was invited by the Technology Strategy Board to consider making an application for funding through its ‘Sustainable high value chemical manufacture through industrial biotechnology’ call. After attending the meeting with the Technology Strategy Board, I thought the process of obtaining funding looked very challenging. However, with the help of Rebecca Wood we were able to put together a successful bid, which received generous praise from the assessing panel. Without support from Chemistry Innovation, I very much doubt we would have succeeded. I cannot thank them and especially Rebecca enough for their efforts.” Dr P D Randall, R&D Manager, Chemoxy International Ltd.

Impact to date includes over 100 company engagement visits and a series of major ‘Leading IB’ events attracting over 500 attendees. 2012 saw the first phase of the IBLF activity completed and further investment from the Technology Strategy Board was secured to the end of January 2015. The vision going forward is that the exploitation of IB processes within UK industry is increasing and gaining its own momentum as we progress towards a £12 billion opportunity for the UK by 2025.


Sustainable Manufacturing for the Process Industries (SMPI) Sustainable manufacturing is of critical importance across the process industries, including the bulk and fine chemical, pharmaceutical and biotech, agrochemical, coatings and lubricants, home and personal care, food and drink, mining, water, construction materials, and oil and fuel industries. In all these sectors, there is a drive for faster, more effective product design and manufacture in order for the UK to become more globally competitive. Innovation in sustainability is vital to improve economic performance, benefit the environment and have a positive social impact. The SMPI portfolio includes 12 projects that will deliver a step change in sustainable manufacturing for the process industries Investment: £7m 3 feasibility studies and 9 Collaborative R&D projects Potential Impact: £51m Chemistry Innovation’s role Chemistry Innovation organised the ‘Singapore Innovative Manufacturing Mission’. This was followed by working with the Technology Strategy Board to define the content of a funding call to stimulate innovation in manufacturing within the process industries. Chemistry Innovation subsequently worked with individual companies to develop compelling projects and assist them in submitting good quality proposals for funding. 06

‘On the Singapore Mission, organised by Chemistry Innovation, we met Perceptive Engineering. Together we developed a proposal and consortium for the Sustainable Manufacturing for the Process Industries funding call. This £760k project ‘Make to order Processing Plants’ was funded to develop an exciting common advanced control platform across many reactor technologies. We also met Syrris on the mission, deepened our relationship, ultimately resulting in another successful collaborative R+D project. In both cases the projects are led by the SMEs with user support from AstraZeneca and GSK. Both projects would not have come to fruition without Chemistry Innovation organising the Singapore Mission. Chemistry Innovation also helped steer the Technology Strategy Board on the detail of the funding competition call, which drew very strong entries. During the Singapore mission we were hosted by GSK Singapore, ICES and Nanyang Technological University and have followed up and established collaborations.’ Craig Johnston, Operations Director, CMAC (EPSRC Centre for Continuous Manufacturing & Crystallisation)

Co-ordinating European Projects

Chemistry Innovation has established a reputation as a leading figure in Europe developing projects and initiatives of value to the chemistry-using industries. Chemistry Innovation partners in carefully selected European projects which complement their Knowledge Transfer Network role through activities which align with national priorities and strategic aims. Engagement with key groups to influence the European Commission’s future funding programme is also an important activity. Over 70% of the submissions in which Chemistry Innovation were a partner have been successfully funded by the European Commission – and where Chemistry Innovation led the proposal our success rate was 100%.


Project: CRM_InnoNet: Substitution of Critical Raw Materials The relative scarcity of so-called critical raw materials, together with their economic importance to the EU, makes it necessary to explore new avenues towards finding alternatives in order to reduce the EU’s consumption and decrease relative dependence upon imports. This project aims to identify the innovation opportunities arising from substitution of critical and scarce raw materials in specific applications, and recommend actions and policies. Investment: £2.5m Potential Impact: £7.5m Chemistry Innovation’s Role: Project Co-ordinator The first networking event attracted 120 people from 88 organisations ‘The issue of critical raw materials affects a very diverse community. Chemistry Innovation’s network draws many different disciplines together to collaborate in a constructive environment. We believe this will play a vital part in shaping the research and innovation environment to enable future development of substitutes to help address the problem of materials scarcity,’ Catherine Joce, Project Manager at Chemistry Innovation.


Project: BIOCHEM This project enables SMEs to innovate in the bio-based product market through the development of tools, networks and targeted events. Bio-based products represent one of the most promising markets of the coming years: they are the answer to growing societal expectations and environmental concerns. They have the potential to substitute at lower cost fossil-based products and can be part of fostering a low-carbon economy with reduced water usage and waste generation. The European Union currently accounts for about 30% of the global € 58 billion bio-based products market which is expected to more than treble by 2020. Investment: £4.1m Potential Impact: £12.3m Chemistry Innovation’s Role: Project Co-ordinator ‘Verdant Bioproducts Ltd is a small biotech operation. We are in the R&D phase of the production of commercially useful molecules by bacteria from renewable sources. Due to the Biochem project we were able to make useful contacts and gain access to valuable resources such as CPI,’ Irene Finnegan, Verdant Bioproducts Ltd.

Project: PILLS Process Intensification methodologies applied to Liquid-Liquid Systems in structured equipment (PILLS) was a €5.5 million collaborative R&D project funded under the European Commission’s Seventh Framework Programme. Launched in January 2009, PILLS was a three year collaborative project involving 10 industrial and academic project partners from across the European Union. The technical focus of the project was to develop the next generation of technology for liquid-liquid reaction systems widely used in chemical manufacturing. Investment: £4.3m Potential Impact: £12.9m Chemistry Innovation’s Role: Project Co-ordinator

“Chemistry Innovation helped us put everyone together and push this to the final results.” Paulo Araújo, CUF

“Chemistry Innovation were taking care that the whole train was moving forward.” Petra Prechtl, Givaudan


The Key to Unlocking Finance


Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry (KCMC) The Knowledge Centre for Materials Chemistry (KCMC) provides a new approach to overcome challenges in new materials innovation and ensure a connected innovation journey from TRL 1-7. KCMC builds on the leadership skills of academics and industrialists, bringing them together to work collaboratively. The KCMC has now moved beyond its initial start-up phase and has committed to expansion of the number of Research Institution partners in order to provide wider industry innovation, new strategic opportunity, fill gaps in capability and move towards a more sustainable business model. Investment: £15m initial funding secured Potential Impact: £228m Chemistry Innovation’s Role Chemistry Innovation developed the vision for the KCMC and working together with the Northwest Science Council and the Northwest Regional Development Agency, built the business case to secure the substantial funding required to realise the project.


BEACON (Biorefining Centre of Excellence Wales) BEACON will help Welsh businesses develop new ways of converting crops such as rye grass, oats and Miscanthus (Asian elephant grass) into products including pharmaceuticals, chemicals, fuels and cosmetics. It was set up to establish links between the business community and academia within Wales and to develop new products and processes that will support economic growth. The centre creates highly skilled jobs in the area of green biotech, supports inward investment and promotes science excellence. Investment: £21m Potential Impact: £252m Chemistry Innovation’s role: Chemistry Innovation researched and developed the business case for the centre. Chemistry Innovation wrote the report ‘Biorefining Opportunities in Wales’ and the consortium used this independent report to demonstrate the scale of the opportunity for Wales and thus present the case for funding to the Welsh European Funding Office. They were successful in securing funding as a result of the final report and a representative from Chemistry Innovation now sits on the Advisory Board. Professor Rob Nash of Phytoquest said “The use of the BEACON facilities has helped us complete two projects assessing the potential for extracting, at scale, high value components from food processing waste streams which can then be used for both the health sector and wider industries.” 12

Formulation Centre In response to expressed industry demand, the Technology Strategy Board asked Chemistry Innovation to set up a Special Interest Group (SIG) for Formulation to establish the case for “a centre in science-based formulation that will increase penetration in global markets for UK based companies”. The Formulation SIG, chaired by industry, ran between July 2012 and March 2013 and built on existing intelligence and links within our community to provide recommendations for strategic national investment, including a business plan for a national formulation centre. Required Investment: £50m Potential Impact: £300m Chemistry Innovation’s Role: Chemistry Innovation managed the SIG to build the case for the creation of a centre and identify sources of investment. The SIG also advised the Technology Strategy Board on a £6m collaborative R&D competition in formulation. Existing relevant activities such as skills and training for formulation were also supported and communicated.

Industry steer for academic programmes

Chemistry Innovation works with significant academic programmes to provide industry steer and to connect them with the chemistry-using industries. Consolidation of the knowledge base - such as in Dial-aMolecule profiled on page 14 – aims towards creating inclusive, active research communities solving industry wide issues to enhance their global competitiveness.


Dial-a-Molecule – 100% Efficient Synthesis Dial-a-Molecule is a network of researchers aiming to define a pathway to enable scientists to deliver any desired molecule within a timeframe useful to the end-user, using safe, economically viable and sustainable processes. The network used an end-user driven approach to define key research problems and develop a comprehensive roadmap. To date, a high profile community of more than 400 researchers has been assembled, around 38% from industry, and many represent areas outside the synthetic chemistry/catalysis community. Considerable interest has been generated in Europe and US. Investment: £450,000 Potential Impact: £900,000 Chemistry Innovation’s Role: Chemistry Innovation is a member of the Executive Committee and Steering Group, providing strategy related inputs based on its expert knowledge of the chemistryusing industries. Chemistry Innovation led the consultation process to align the Dial-a-Molecule roadmap to the themes of greatest interest to companies.


‘Industrial engagement has been a key success of the Dial-aMolecule network, largely driven by Chemistry Innovation who chaired the ‘Focussing our Efforts’ Industrial advisory board, as well as being a key member of the Steering Group and Executive Committee. Chemistry Innovation have enabled a high degree of industrial input to the roadmap ensuring that it constitutes a comprehensive, inclusive and representative document which has been well received, and led to renewed funding for the network. Their continued involvement will facilitate opportunities in collaborative research for the Dial-a-Molecule community, and the need for effective and rapid uptake of emerging technologies by the industrial sector provides a strong drive for Dial-a-Molecule to continue to work closely with Chemistry Innovation in the Open Innovation space.’ Richard Whitby, Principal Investigator on the Dial-a-Molecule EPSRC funded Grand Challenge Network

Nurturing Future Talent

Business sustainability depends on the availability of a high quality pipeline of skilled young talent, enthusiastic about entering the industry. Chemistry Innovation works with businesses to access schemes such as Industrial CASE awards and Knowledge Transfer Partnerships to help nurture future talent. Industrial CASE awards are profiled here.


Industrial CASE awards Industrial CASE awards are three and a half year postgraduate awards allocated to companies. The aim of the awards is to enable companies to take the lead in defining, and arranging projects, with an academic partner of their choice while training postgraduates to undertake industrially relevant research. Since 2006, Chemistry Innovation has helped secure 67 company driven research projects resulting in 67 PhD students trained. Potential Impact: £4.4m Chemistry Innovation’s Role From 2006 to 2011, Chemistry Innovation acted as an agent for EPSRC CASE awards, successfully attracting around 50 proposals per year and securing funding for 67 exciting projects. Ongoing support is provided for active projects. Looking forward, Chemistry Innovation will work closely with relevant Centres for Doctoral Training to help companies access appropriate expertise for longer term research goals.

Case Study: CASE Award; Polymeric Coating to Inhibit In-Stent Restenosis (Katie Nickson – supervised by Dr Rachel Williams (Liverpool University) and Simon Dixon (Biomer Technology Limited) Coronary Artery Disease (CAD) is the major cause of illness, disability and death, worldwide and is caused by restricted blood flow to the heart due to narrowing of arteries. Current treatments involve the use of angioplasty balloons to reopen the blood vessels and insertion of metal stents to keep them open. However, deposition of material on the inserted stent surface (restinosis) can occur relatively rapidly such that further invasive surgery is needed to replace stents within a short time period. To inhibit growth on the stent and thus improve long-term clinical performance different coatings are under investigation. Biomer Technology Limited developed a range of complex polymers and wished to investigate their capabilities to prevent detrimental deposits building up and so a CASE Award study was established with Liverpool University to perform the trials. The project included a multidisciplinary approach with polymer chemistry, surface analysis, biointeractions and in vitro cell culture testing to develop a robust testing regime for all candidates. The project was successful in assessing a wide range of coatings and identified highly promising polymers for subsequent pre-clinical and clinical trials to reduce CAD impacts.


One-to-one support for company growth

Chemistry Innovation’s experience of working with funding agencies including the Technology Strategy Board, the European Commission and the Research Councils is an important factor in helping companies access funding for research and development. Chemistry Innovation is knowledgeable about forthcoming funding calls and helps prepare companies – large and small - to be ready for them. To date, over 92 small and medium enterprises (SMEs) have been assisted in some of the following ways:

Understanding and Promoting

Funding Group Webinars and Events

Project Eligibility

Advice and guidance Signposting


Proposal Development Project Management/ Dissemination

Strategy Development

Priority theme guidance Partnering events Project assessors Economic Impact / Sustainability tools

Role as project partner Network of over 3000 businesses

Chemistry-using industries strategy SusChem UK


PhosphonicS Project/ issue Process industries worldwide are under increasing pressure to streamline their manufacturing practices to develop products in a sustainable way. To make sure that the UK process industry – from bulk and fine chemicals to pharmaceuticals and biotechnology – remains globally competitive, the Technology Strategy Board launched the Sustainable Manufacturing for the Process Industry funding call in 2012. Chemistry Innovation’s role Chemistry Innovation helped in two ways. Firstly to shape the call with the Technology Strategy Board who relied on their knowledge of industry need and secondly by providing support to projects at both stages of the funding call. This involved identifying suitable projects, bringing the right organisations together and supporting partnerships during the application process.


“Chemistry Innovation’s understanding of the call details was invaluable as we developed our application and really did help our success in securing the funds our collaboration needed to pursue innovation in manufacturing processes. The support & advice you provided throughout the process was much appreciated & particularly helpful,” Robin Wilkes, Business Director, Pharmaceuticals & Fine Chemicals, PhosphonicS

Alsitek Project/ issue Alsitek develop mineral polymers as sustainable replacements for plastics. They consist of long chains or crosslinked chains of atoms made of aluminium and silicon, rather than carbon and so offer a high performance, low cost replacement for a wide range of oil-based materials. A gap in the market within the construction industry was identified for a replacement to traditional, plaster-based material that is used for fire-proofing. Alsitek proposed to develop a solid fire-proof foam that could be used to fill cavities posing a fire threat, but needed funding to research and develop this innovative new technology. Chemistry Innovation’s role Chemistry Innovation’s support was in identifying funding options and proposal development. Projects will demonstrate feasibility of the idea and have not yet started.

‘We engaged Chemistry Innovation in a visit to Alsitek in 2012. It was during this visit that Chemistry Innovation highlighted the New Designs for a Circular Economy funding competition. Chemistry Innovation encouraged us to apply for funding through this competition to develop our fire-proof foam. As a small company, applying for grant funding can be a daunting process and Chemistry Innovation played an integral role in interpreting the competition details and proposal requirements to our team. Chemistry Innovation reviewed several stages of our proposal and made constructive comments about areas we could strengthen our submission. As a result, Alsitek successfully secured £25,000 for a 3 month feasibility project to develop fire-proof foam,’ Michael Reid, Director, Alsitek



“Chemistry Innovation Delivering Growth for the UK chemistry-using industries�


Knowledge Transfer Network Chemistry Innovation

Chemistry Innovation The Heath Runcorn Cheshire WA7 4QX United Kingdom Tel: +44 (0)1928 515662 Fax: +44 (0)1928 515677 Email:

Knowledge Transfer Networks Accelerating business innovation; a Technology Strategy Board programme

Chemistry Innovation's Project Portfolio