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Durham Business & Innovation Services

News & Press Cuttings

Durham University’s research and development strengths win award from world leading company

(24 October 2011)

Professor Tom McLeish

Durham University's strengths in research and development have won it an international award from the world's largest consumer products company.

Durham won the Global Business Development University Partner of the Year award from Procter & Gamble at an event in Cincinnati, USA in recognition of the collaboration between the University and P&G.

The University-company partnership has already secured more than £5,700,000 ($9,200,000) in external funding for a series of projects and studentships.

Durham is also recognised by P&G as a "best in class" academic partner and follows an innovative approach to University- business partnering where research needs and research capabilities of both partners have been carefully mapped and core areas of mutual interest identified.

More than of 80 Durham academics are now linked with a similar number of P&G researchers in locations ranging from Newcastle to Frankfurt, Brussels, Beijing and Cincinnati in areas including surface sciences, biophysical sciences electronic goods, manufacturing and consumer psychology.

A recent highlight has been a joint project to set up a virtual surface science centre, providing technical and scientific expertise to develop more effective home cleaning products.

The award follows the signing of a Master Collaboration Agreement with P&G which establishes Durham University as a core strategic research partner to this multinational corporation.

As well as the Durham award, the UK's Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) also won the Government sector Partner of the Year award from P&G. EPSRC is the UK's main agency for funding research in engineering and physical sciences.

Professor Tom McLeish, Pro-Vice-Chancellor (Research), at Durham University, said: "This recognition of the collaboration between P&G and Durham signifies our shared values of partnership, which is at the core of what we do.

"One of the world's largest corporations recognises that Durham is 'best in class' which is a tribute to the strength of research at the University and the high-esteem in which it is held by blue-chip employers across the globe.

"This award, and that made to the EPSRC, shows that a corporate leader such as P&G are happy to be investing in research and development in the UK and in particular in Durham University."

Michael Duncan, European Innovation Director at P&G, has been appointed as a Visiting Professor of Physics at Durham University.

He said: "We have been working with Durham for less than two years, but it is already delivering high-impact results with Durham being seen as best in class of our University collaborations.

"We look forward to building relationships and producing meaningful innovations for generations to come."

The University's Durham Business and Innovation Service has been at the centre of this partnership development. The office develops partnerships with businesses and is also responsible for commercialising research outputs.

Working with Faculties, Departments, Institutes and individual researchers, the unit supports all aspects of business engagement and research commercialisation.