Re:action - University of Southampton Research & Enterprise e-News Winter 2015

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The University of Southampton Research and Enterprise e-News | Issue 01 | Winter 2015

Global No.1 SETsquared ranked as Global No. 1 university business incubator


The University of Southampton Research and Enterprise e-News | Issue 01 | Winter 2015

Pure Success Transforming how we manage and showcase our research RedLux A SETsquared success story Mutual benefit Public engagement with research

In this issue Welcome to this first issue of the Research and Enterprise e-News. There is so much to report and celebrate. The University’s strategic plan focuses on growing and diversifying research income; enhancing interdisciplinary strengths; sustaining our peaks of excellence; ensuring continued availability of our Worldleading facilities; sustaining the enterprise ecosystem, and enhancing communication and public engagement in research. You will find exciting examples of progress on these priorities in the following pages.


The Government’s Spending Review has provided some reassurance, but the sector is entering a period of uncertainty not least around research and enterprise funding focus, volumes and organisation. Southampton is strongly positioned to respond, but must continue to be proactive to opportunities and in influencing strategic development. The University has significant UK and international partnerships – with other institutions and industry – which will be essential to maintaining our leading position. I hope that you enjoy this issue. Inevitably, we have had to be selective in the achievements covered. Over the year we will showcase activities from across the University. If you have ideas for items to include in future issues please contact A big ‘thank you’ to everyone who contributes to the University’s superb performance in research and enterprise. Professor Judith Petts Pro Vice-Chancellor Research & Enterprise December 2015



1 No.1 Business Incubator in the World SETsquared ranked as Global No. 1 university business incubator Page 4

2 Pure Success: Transforming how we manage and showcase our research Page 6

3 RedLux:

a SETsquared success story Page 8

4 Mutual benefit Public engagement with research Page 11


Please send us your feedback We are keen to receive feedback about Re:action. If you have any comments or suggestions, please send them to

No.1 Business Incubator in the World The SETsquared Partnership, an enterprise collaboration between the universities of Bath, Bristol, Exeter, Southampton and Surrey, has recently been ranked by UBI Global as the top university incubator in the world.


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From start up only 13 years ago, SETsquared has supported over 1,000 hi-tech start-ups to develop and raise more than £1bn of investment, as well as contributing over £3.8bn to the UK economy with a further £15bn contribution estimated over the next 10 years. The partnership currently supports 265 companies across its centres and has created over 9,000 new jobs.

turn their business ideas into investor propositions; Researcher to Innovator, a three-day residential course to help early stage researchers acquire the skills to turn projects into commercial realities; and the ICURe Innovation to Commercialisation Programme, which is funded by InnovateUK and HEFCE, to help market validate commercialisation opportunities from research.

One successful company spun out from SETsquared is RedLux, featured on the following pages.

Over the last year SETsquared has opened in Basingstoke to help entrepreneurs develop new businesses around next generation 5G mobile technology, and run innovation programmes for the NHS and UK Space Agency.

SETsquared’s work for its companies include schemes like its Entrepreneurship Training Programme, which helps entrepreneurs

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Pure Success: Transforming how we manage and showcase our research The University is at the forefront of promoting openness in research, and in the New Year we will be unlocking and harnessing our research data vaults more than ever before. The implementation of Pure, a leading research information system, sees the most exciting development in the dissemination of our research activity since ePrints. It will enable easier discovery of the expertise of our researchers and departments, promoting our specialisms and increasing opportunities for collaboration. Crucially, the system also goes some way to realising a dream held by many academics – entering data only once for use in multiple applications. This is especially desirable in the UK, which boasts the questionable accolade of the most rigorous statutory returns of any Higher Education sector in the world. Adding to the mandate in April 2016 are funders’ strict Open Access requirements, compliance with which, while remaining the responsibility of individual researchers, can be more closely monitored with Pure’s reporting capabilities. As well as drawing existing data from the University’s corporate systems, Pure will provide central storage for researchers’ esteem indicators, such as honours, editorships or representation on government advisory groups; and for evidence of their research impact outside academia. This collection of data will transform the way we showcase our research; through academic CVs, reports and web profiles.


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Pure will also manage the University’s submission to the next Research Excellence Framework (REF), for which the government aspires to a “better and more effective use of data and metrics”. A demonstration of Pure’s impressive REF capabilities was a key factor in its selection, following a rigorous EU procurement process. In all, 30 UK universities have now adopted Pure, including eight members of the Russell Group of research intensive universities. Graeme Earl, Professor of Digital Humanities, is one of several researchers closely involved with Pure’s implementation: “Over the last few months I’ve seen the incredible complexity of existing methods for managing research information and there are some clear benefits to the new approach. Our tendency to find external collaborators more easily than the person in the building next door has become a cliché, but I am convinced that systems like Pure can address this problem. It will also reduce the time taken to capture useful information. “By bringing disparate data together Pure should deliver strategic benefits for the University, underpinned by a transparent approach to how these data will be used and shared. If all goes to plan we might not notice the system itself, but I am sure we’ll see its impact.”

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RedLux: A SETsquared success story Keeping people mobile and wind turbines turning The highly advanced technology developed by SETsquared spin-out company, RedLux, is providing the medical profession with more meaningful information on endoprostheses and making it easier and faster to understand why artificial joints fail. Among its many other applications, it is also analysing the wear on components and helping to increase the life-span of machinery in the renewable energy sector.

In the beginning Christian Maul, PhD, founded RedLux in 2005 after identifying a demand in the medical industry for the accurate measurement of spherical objects without contacting the inspection surface. Addressing the challenge of this became the basis of RedLux today. The company originally specialised developing non-contact, ultraprecise Coordinate Measuring Machines for the medical sector, especially orthopaedics, suppling fast, reliable, and highly precise measurement data of components. The company sold its first commercial non-contact measurement system to this market in 2008. Continuing developments and more stringent controls in orthopaedic


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manufacturing led to the need for more advanced wear measurement systems and nano-scale metrology. RedLux was able to provide the industry with a fast and accurate instrument to check artificial joint components in a matter of seconds, reducing delays in production and ensuring the quality of endoprostheses.

Optics and turbines However, RedLux’s profiling technology is not limited to orthopaedics, and applies to many geometric shapes in a variety of materials, so the company’s systems soon found applications in numerous areas such as the precision engineering and cutting tool sectors, industrial optics and lenses fields and mechanical engineering. One example for the expansion of application areas is the utilisation of RedLux’s technology to analyse wear scars on wind turbine gearbox simulator components. The benefits are that the entire wear scar can be analysed, unlike conventional methods which typically only allow partial measurement.

“Thanks to our strong business foundations created with the aid of SETsquared, we are looking forward to a successful future.” Christian Maul, RedLux founder

Non-contact measurement of an artificial hip head

This complete measurement makes it possible to evaluate wear in the context of the component’s overall form and understand its failure modes. This in turn supports research into the possible causes of that failure, which help extend the life-span of the wind turbine.

The future While firmly established in its original markets, RedLux is extending the applications of its technology to other components and sectors, and new projects in the automotive and aerospace industries are in the pipeline. RedLux’s ultra-precision, non-contact machines are sold world-wide for integration into the production process or for research purposes.

Two of the latest acquisitions originated from Rush University in Chicago, one of the leading academic medical centres in the USA, and the renowned Royal Perth Hospital, Australia. Further developments include a state-of-the-art taper gauge for the high-precision measurement of internal tapers and cylinders, along with a brand-new system used for automated measurement and verification of optical surface imperfections. It is no surprise that RedLux is undergoing an exciting phase of growth. Its international team of employees is continuously growing which ensures that the company’s high level of expertise and ability to create bespoke customer systems is secured for the future.

new premises

expansion into new markets

Regional Growth Fund

expanding product portfolio





2010 first commercial system sold into optics market

private investment secured 2010

R&D grant from DTI 2008

2008 first commercial system sold into orthopaedics market

first measurement of hip joint 2006

2005 R&D grant from Department of Trade and Industry (DTI)

Success timeline

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Public engagement in action Combining the fun of a 3D pinball machine with a profound metaphor for a key biological concept, the two-metre diameter stem cell mountain brings to life the concept of stem cell potential. This award winning and irresistible hands-on exhibit has engaged festival goers at Glastonbury and Bestival, science aficionados at the UK’s top Science Festivals, and more than 250,000 visitors annually to the


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Winchester Science Centre where it can be found when not on the road. Watch the video to see the mountain in action. For further information, contact Jonathan Dawson in the Centre for Human Development, Stem Cells and Regeneration. +44 (0)2381 20 3293

Mutual benefit Public engagement with research: a two-way process of interaction and listening, to generate mutual benefit The Public Engagement with Research unit (PERu) at Southampton, supported by the HEIF and the RCUK’s Catalyst Seed Fund, is working to foster and embed a culture of engaged research. Our Public Engagement Network now comprises over 200 people representing a wide range of professional and academic staff, early career researchers, postgraduate students and members from outside the University. Everyone is welcome to attend our regular network lunches and share experiences. This year’s funding call attracted 30 applications which will see our researchers connecting to, and working with, diverse publics including performers, community groups, charities, local and national societies, and Southampton City Council. We are also developing a ‘spectrum of engagement’ to support and enthuse researchers across career-stages. These will build on

activities such as the Research Roadshow, Science & Engineering Festival, Researchers’ Café and Bright Club. New pilot activities are planned for 2016 including exploiting the exciting potential for research engagement presented by the University’s presence in the new Cultural Quarter in Southampton. Training and development activities are also being expanded in collaboration with other University departments and the Doctoral College. To join our network, or for more information on the team’s activities, please contact Jo James, Steve Dorney or Tony Curran at or visit our website

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New academy meets society’s cyber security challenge “The increasingly alarming statistics on cyber-attacks, and targeted crimes such as the recent TalkTalk data hack, make the Academy a timely initiative fully aligned with the UK National Security Strategy.” Professor Vladimiro Sassone, Director of the Academy at the University


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The University of Southampton has launched the Cyber Security Academy (CSA) to help make government, businesses and consumers more resilient to cyber-attack The CSA is a partnership between the University and world-leading industry partners to provide a focal point for cyber security research, education and outreach. The first partners are Dstl, Northrop Grumman and Roke Manor Research with more joining as the Academy grows into a vibrant community of South of England businesses with global influence. The November launch was hosted by GCHQ and the Department for Culture, Media and Sport, and supported by leaders from across Government, industry and academia. The span of cyber security problems is huge, including the protection of critical infrastructures, of industrial and economic processes, of government, businesses and users’ data, privacy and interests.

As one of the first outcomes of the UK Government’s CyberInvest strategy, the CSA will provide a stream of cyber security graduates to industry and train existing workforces through an industry-relevant CPD program. It will also lead innovative research, consultancy and enterprise activities and create new employment opportunities. Based in the Academic Centre of Excellence for Research in Cyber Security (ACE-CSR) at the University, the CSA is due to formally launch in early 2016. The University of Southampton is one of just 13 Academic Centres of Excellence in Cyber Security Research, leading the national agenda to protect against cyber threats. For more information: @CybSecSoton

Southampton in £138m infrastructure project Our contribution is a new £36m National Infrastructure Laboratory, based at the Boldrewood Innovation Campus, which is also home to Lloyd’s Register’s Global Technology Centre and further major facilities including a 138-metre towing tank and other advanced fluid dynamics Southampton is one of 14 universities working experimental facilities. in partnership with industry and government as part of the £138m UK Collaboratorium for Research in Infrastructure and Cities network (UKCRIC). The University of Southampton is to play a major role in a new national centre that will grow and transform the UK’s major infrastructure sectors including transport, energy systems, clean water supplies, waste management and flood defences.

Rising star: what keeps me awake Dr Sarah Parsons, Southampton Education School In the early hours of the morning I’m thinking how to make my research projects meaningful for the people who matter most. My research focuses on the development of new technologies to support children, adults and families with autism and it is vital for me that the research processes, as well as the outcomes produced, are valued by the community. My team is currently running an Enterprise / Impact funded project called ASC me I.T.,, which asks members of the autism community: ‘If there was one new technology to help people with autism, what would it be?’ Users can download a free app and submit their ideas so that new developments in digital technologies for autism can be matched to support the needs of users. I’m curious to see the ideas and excited about how some of them can be developed further.

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Research and innovation in numbers 2014/2015

Global No. 1

university business incubator

Grant applications up 15% to

£484m REF 2014 funding up 2% to


New research group A new University Strategic Research Group (USRG) has been announced following this year’s competition which attracted 14 high-quality applications spanning quantum systems, finance, space technology, evolving cities, soil ecosystems and demographic migrations. The new USRG, Monitoring of Engineered and Natural Systems Using Sensors (MENSUS) will be chaired by Ling Wang, Associate Professor in the Faculty of Engineering & the Environment, and brings together experts in engineering, computer sciences, business and health.

5% increase in research awards to


Rolling contact fatigue damage in the outer ring of a rail axle bearing. Image courtesy of Dr N. Symonds


in the UK for research intensity


in the UK for EPSRC funding portfolio

2% increase in research income to



in the UK for consultancy income

54% of published papers have international co-authors


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Feature website: Future Worlds Partly funded by the Higher Education Innovation Fund, Future Worlds is a unique and vibrant pilot project which helps nurture our aspiring entrepreneurs and creative business ideas through an ecosystem of mentors, investors, collaborators and events. Our dedicated staff and professional video/ photo studio allows compelling content to be created for our engaging web platform,

the events that we hold and support, this network and platform ensures that our Our network has global influence, hundreds of years of collective experience, and includes students, researchers and academics have individuals like Chris Broad, Director of Apple the best possible chance to change the world and improve people’s lives with their Europe, Penny Endersby, Head of the Dstl innovations and ideas. Cyber Division, and Mujibur Choudhury, Director of Combined with

Your place in Brussels… There are a wealth of funding opportunities available from Europe. With over 15 per cent of our research income originating from Brussels, Europe is significant for the University. To help navigate the European funding landscape, the University has memberships with the Southern England Local Partners (SELP) and the UK Research Office (UKRO), the European office of the UK Research Councils, that give us access to: ââ extensive advice about all aspects of EU funding; ââ networking opportunities at the European Commission; and

EU Office

Building 37/Room 3041 Highfield Campus SELP

35 Avenue de Tervueren/ Tervurenlaan B-1040 Brussels

ââ office and reception facilities for partner meetings in Brussels (as well as basic overnight accommodation).

UK Research Office

To find out more about these services please contact the EU Office team in Southampton at

B- 1000 Brussels

4 Rue du Trone

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Media highlights 1. Futurity reported that our mathematicians found a new way to measure the mass of young stars. 2. The Star shared news that we are developing a new type of drug that may help bones heal faster. 3. NBC News covered our test flight of a 3D-printed aircraft off a Royal Navy warship. 4. TeCake reported on our scientists’ challenging the Big Bang Theory. 5. The Daily Mail covered our study revealing that copper could be the next weapon in the fight against deadly respiratory diseases in hospitals.


Image courtesy of NASA


6. The Hampshire Chronicle reported on our lead of an £11m project to create driverless cars, funded by the EPSRC and Jaguar and Land Rover. 7. Itv covered our Leverhulme Trust-funded research, which suggests that diesel exhausts could have a greater effect on bees’ ability to smell out flowers. 8. The Engineer reported that we are to use Google Street View images to assess damage caused in natural disasters. 9. Itv reported on HRH Princess Royal officially opening the Boldrewood Innovation Campus – the UK’s largest University and business collaboration. 10. The Daily Mail reported on our development of a new molecule that mimics the effect of exercise. 11. T he Daily Echo covered news of our £500,000 award to develop new robotics systems to sense, diagnose and repair things. 12. T he Engineer reported on our £2.5m partnership to train future environmental scientists and engineers in the use of smart and autonomous observation systems (SAOS). 13. The Hampshire Chronicle covered news that we set sail to Atlantic Massif in a bid to answer questions on how life began on Earth.


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Events for the diary 1 January 2016 Future Photonics Hub begins operating Bringing together the expertise of Zepler Institute researchers in Southampton’s Optoelectronics Research Centre (ORC) and Nanoelectronics and Nanotechnology group, and the ESPRC National III-V Centre at the University of Sheffield, the £22m Future Photonics Hub will provide national leadership in manufacturing for the next-generation of photonics technologies.

12-14 January 2016 Prospects in Data Science Carey’s Manor Hotel, Brockenhurst, SO42 7RH This Data Science Symposium brings together a multiinstitutional, high-profile panel of speakers to promote the cross-fertilisation of ideas between the different domains of Data Sciences, particularly Statistics, Mathematics and Computer Sciences, and data practitioners from both academia and industry.

6 January 2016 University Strategic Research Group launch event Building 19, Highfield campus This event launches our newest USRG: Monitoring Engineered and Natural Systems Using Sensors (MENSUS) and will provide a platform for a series of elevator pitches, and networking opportunities.

20 January 2016 Next Tech Wave: start-up opportunities in ‘connected’ Big Data Southampton Science Park Bringing together leading new Big Data players from the South of England, this event explores opportunities for start-ups and discusses how SETsquared can help them realise their potential.

7 – 9 March 2016 Entrepreneurship Training Programme Southampton Science Park Combining sessions led by experienced entrepreneurs and investors, along with taught lectures and small-group workshops, this programme will challenge your business preconceptions, and equip you with the skills, contacts and confidence you need to optimise your chances of start-up success.

12 March 2016 Science and Engineering Day Highfield campus Find out what underpins world changing developments at the award-winning Science and Engineering Day. The event will be packed with opportunities to get direct experience of science and engineering across a whole range of other subjects through hands-on activities, tours and shows.

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Funding news Faculty of Physical Sciences and Engineering

Faculty of Natural and Environmental Sciences

Sir David Payne, Optoelectronics Research Centre High-value photonic manufacturing hub EPSRC, £9.01 million over 7 years

Dr Catherine Rychert, Ocean and Earth Science Experiment to Unearth the Rheological Oceanic LithosphereAsthenosphere Boundary (EURO-LAB) ERC, 1.83 million Euro over 6 years

Jacob Mackenzie, Optoelectronics Research Centre Manufacturing with Light 2 – Lasers making lasers EPSRC, £701,000 over 3.5 years Pier-John Sazio, Optoelectronics Research Centre Photonic fibre technologies for solar fuel catalysis EPSRC, £486,000 over 2 years Professor Daniel Hewak, Optoelectronics Research Centre Nanomaterials for Smart Data Storage Technology Strategy Board, £211,200 over 2 years Dr Timothy Freegarde, Physics and Astronomy Quantum coherent enhancement of atom interferometric inertial sensors Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL) £160,400 over 4 years Professor Hywel Morgan, Electronics and Computer Science Development of a novel 3D microfluidic assay platform EPSRC, £149,800 over 2 years Dr Antonios Kanaras, Physics and Astronomy Three dimensional mesoscopic metamaterials Defence Science & Technology Laboratory (DSTL), £145,000 over 4 years Dr Markus Luczak-Roesch, Electronics and Computer Science Reducing risk and enhancing security by understanding coincidence in information spaces Lloyds Register, £19,000 over 6 months

Dr Eleanor Frajka-Williams, Ocean and Earth Science Mechanisms Responsible for Mesoscale Eddy Energy Dissipation (MeRMEED) Natural Environment Research Council , £867,000 over 3.5 years Dr Paul Skipp, Centre for Biological Sciences Integrated experimental and in silico modelling of MHC presentation Unilever, £610,000 over 3 years Phyllis Tin Yan Lam, Ocean and Earth Science Is there a shortcut in the regeneration of nitrate from organic nitrogen? Natural Environment Research Council, £498,000 over 3 years Professor Sybren Drijfhout, Ocean and Earth Science Securing Multidisciplinary UndeRstanding and Prediction of Hiatus and Surge events (SMURPHS) Natural Environment Research Council, £361,000 over 4 years Dr Ilya Kuprov, Chemistry Non-classical paramagnetic susceptibility and anisotropy in lanthanide coordination EPSRC, £265,800 over 3 years Dr Syma Khalid, Chemistry Molecular basis for substrate recognition of outer membrane BBSRC, £262,300 over 3 years Dr Juerg Michael Matter, National Oceanography Centre Scientific drilling in the Samail Ophiolite, Sultanate of Oman International Continental Scientific Drilling Program (ICDP) £227,700 over 3 years Professor Jeremy S Webb, Centre for Biological Sciences Novel small molecule drugs for treatment of chronic Pseudomonas infections in Cystic Fibrosis patients Antabio Pharma, £202,900 over 12 months Professor Rachel Mills, Ocean and Earth Science Capacity building and PhD student partnership in the Marine and Maritime sectors RCUK, £162,100 over 3 years Dr Jonathan Kitchen, Chemistry Lanthanide mono-layers for sensing Chemical Agents EPSRC, £99,200 over 12 months


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This selection of awards demonstrates the breadth of funding secured by our academics across the University.

Faculty of Engineering and the Environment

Faculty of Social, Human and Mathematical Sciences

Neville Stanton, Civil, Maritime and Environmental Engineering Human Interaction: Designing Autonomy in Vehicles (HI: DAV) EPSRC, £918,000 over 4 years

Dr Andrew Tatem, Geography and Environment Malaria epidemiology in Uganda National Institutes of Health USA, £12,200 over 12 months

Dr Claudie Beaulieu, Ocean and Earth Science Detection of abrupt changes in land and ocean ecosystems EPSRC, £13,000 over 6 months

Dr Michaela Brockmann, Southampton Education School A Cross-national Study of Vocational Education and Training Provision at HE level German Federal Institute for Vocational Education and Training, £7,400 over 8 months

Faculty of Medicine Dr Geraldine Leydon, Primary Care and Population Sciences Eliciting Patient Concerns (EPaC) SPCR NIHR, £39,600 over 12 months

This list encompasses awards logged with University of Southampton Finance from August – October 2015.

Professor Michael Moore, Primary Care and Population Sciences Andrographis paniculata for symptomatic relief of lower respiratory tract infection SPCR NIHR, £29,900 over 12 months Professor Michael Grocott, Clinical and Experimental Sciences Enhanced Peri-Operative Care for High-risk patients (EPOCH) Trial NIHR, £28,800 over 30 months Professor George Lewith, Primary Care and Population Sciences Active Surveillance; Screening, education and delivery in Primary Care (ASPIC) SPCR NIHR, £24,200 over 12 months Dr Geraldine Leydon, Primary Care and Population Sciences Non-medical delayed Abx prescribing SPCR NIHR, £22,800 over 8 months Professor Mike Thomas, Primary Care and Population Sciences Impact of short-course MBSR-based mindfulness intervention on patients with difficult-to-manage asthma SPCR NIHR, £17,500 over 6 months Professor Nicholas Sheron, Clinical and Experimental Sciences Excessive drinking and alcohol related harms in adulthood: ALSPAC at 24 MRC, £13,900 over 4 years

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