The University of Birmingham brings cutting-edge UK science and innovation to solve SMEs' product, process and R&D challenges

The University of Birmingham is working with the Science Technology and Facilities Council (STFC) and the Manufacturing Technology Centre (MTC) to bring big science to small and medium businesses. Science to industry aims to solve technical product, process and R&D challenges that may be impeding productivity or stunting business growth in the Midlands region and beyond.

Funded by the Government’s Industrial Strategy Challenge Fund, we have launched the Science to Industry programme, enabling businesses to access world-class science and hi-tech manufacturing expertise and facilities, such as those available within STFC and the MTC. Some of these capabilities include:

  • Supercomputing, computational chemistry, artificial intelligence, digital imaging, Cyber Security and Blockchain Technology
  • Advanced imaging and material characterisation
  • Space science
  • Materials development
  • Micro-electronics

Regional SMEs across all sectors, such as advanced manufacturing, life sciences, medical technologies, agriculture, food and drink and the digital economy can benefit from this programme. Alongside access to these UK-wide and globally recognised facilities, the programme also supports access to a community of over 2000 scientists, technologists and engineers - at the forefront of their field.

For example, in a market place where designing safer road vehicles demands in-depth understanding of how they will perform in crash situations, time and accuracy is crucial. A small business in the engineering space was able to reduce the time required to obtain results of vehicle models comprising typically of 10 million elements in challenging deadlines by 50%. This was only possible due to STFC’s high-tech supercomputing facility and as a result the business was able to meet their vehicle design process deadline.    

The Science to Industry programme welcomes interest from businesses who need support to solve their technical challenges. After your initial request for information, we will work closely with you to understand the technical problem, support your application process and match you to an appropriate facility to support the desired outcome, such as maximising productivity, reducing costs or waste and creating a positive economical and societal impact.

For further information on how to get some of the best science the UK can offer to support your business, please get in touch at science2industry@contacts.bham.ac.uk