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Durham University

Intensive Industrial Innovation Programme

Intensive Industrial Innovation Programme

North East England’s universities are joining forces under an extension to the £3.9m scheme which initially commenced in October 2018, funded by the European Regional Development Fund, to connect the region’s businesses with research to encourage growth and job creation. Further funding is available to allow SMEs to apply for a position on the programme. PhD students will be commencing their position 1st October 2019.

The Intensive Industrial Innovation Programme (IIIP) will see Durham, Newcastle, Northumbria and Teesside universities work directly with small and medium-sized enterprises (SMEs) in the region to develop new services and products for the market.

Eligible SMEs will be supported by a dedicated PhD research student for three years, as well as access to senior academic researchers and university research facilities.

The project is targeted at supporting businesses in (or hoping to access) the priority sectors identified in the economic plans of the North East Local Enterprise Partnership and Tees Valley Combined Authority.

These sectors are:

North East LEP: Passenger vehicle manufacturing; subsea and offshore technology; life sciences and healthcare; creative, digital, software and technology-based services; surface science; ageing; energy; systems satellite applications; energy networks; materials integration; water.

Tees Valley Combined Authority: Chemicals; health innovation; energy; advanced manufacturing; logistics; digital and creative; the Circular Economy.

The ultimate aim of the IIIP is to encourage a culture of innovation that benefits business, leading to greater export opportunities and increased graduate employment, particularly in science and engineering.

UPDATE: We are currently accepting any expressions of interests from SME's in the Tees Valley, Durham and North East areas for potential future inclusion on this scheme.

Please send it any queries to:

Alex Osborne (pictured) will carry out a field study in Northumberland to trial Evolto's new technology for 'listening' to rivers. The study will be carried out on Haltwhistle Burn, a rapid response catchment with a history of flash flooding. Alex said, "I'm looking forward to exploring how the sound a river makes can be used to determine channel processes. The collaboration between The Water Hub and Evolto has provided me with this opportunity to work towards a PhD and test out innovative new equipment." Dr Rebecca Hodge, Alex's supervisor at Durham University, said, "This project is an exciting opportunity to collaborate with a local company, and I look forward to seeing how the work develops."

Carissa Lloyd (pictured) will be working on a project involving the development of new synthetic methods and tool to prepare modified and novel peptide based compounds. “The collaboration between Durham and Cambridge Research Biochemicals presents an exciting opportunity for me to gain experience in both sectors, whilst providing a platform for any research completed within the University to be put into practice within an industrial setting.” Associate Professor and Carissa’s PhD supervisor Steven Cobb “Cambridge Research Biochemicals are one of the leading peptide companies in the UK. We have a long standing record of collaboration with them and it is fantastic to further strengthen our research ties with them.” Emily Humphrys, Managing Director of CRB said: “We are delighted to be supporting another PhD student with Associate Professor Steven Cobb as we are fortunate to have his accomplished Peptide Research group on our doorstep and we hope that Carissa will learn industrial techniques from a seasoned Peptide company whilst working on some peptide chemistries to improve routes and yields for commercially attractive peptides for our catalogue and the Disease research market as a whole.”

Laura Midgley is exploring the mathematics behind modern crystal structure determination. This thriving applied research area is developed by chemists and the aim of this project is to investigate it with a fresh mathematical mind. This includes developing new tools for the crystallographic software company OlexSys. Laura comments: "It's exciting to employ rigorous mathematical techniques to experimentally established methods, and we're hoping that with this fundamental viewpoint we'll be able to improve existing and to discover new methods." Her supervisor, Professor Norbert Peyerimhoff says: "Laura is ideally suited to carry out this project due to her wide knowledge in natural sciences, focussing on maths, physics, and computer science. We all enjoy learning together the beautiful maths involved in this topic."

Dr Noura Al Moubayed, academic supervisor for Tom Winterbottom at Durham University stated “Tom has a very strong mathematical and machine learning background which makes him a great fit to this project. Clicksco has shown a serious commitment to the project demonstrating a model for how academia and industry in the Northeast can work together to drive innovation in the region.” Dr Alistair McLean, CTO at Clicksco further added: At Clicksco we are developing Carbon, an intent focussed DMP that supports advertisers and publishers finding opportunities from the analysis of consented data from user browsing. We are excited to be working with Tom on discovering novel methods for combining image & natural language processing to automatically create synthetic visual ad campaigns that create a story over time and present a set of values associated with the advertiser's brand."

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