Industry-Led Research

While we carry out a large programme of academic research, ECFP also joins commercial and academic partners in industry-led research where the research goals are defined by a company or consortium. There are a range of public funding opportunities for companies to take advantage of at national and European levels.

Industrially-led research can be diverse from exploring how pharmaceutical peptides aggregate in solution to identifying how a formulation affects micro-organism motility. Projects can be brief but are usually more extended than consultancy work.

As well as research relationships with individual companies, ECFP contributes to advancing technologies for the benefit for society through working in large partnerships with companies. Industrial needs can be diverse, from solving manufacturing challenges to reduce waste and cost, to identifying new sustainable resources for formulation ingredients. Here are some examples:

  • National Biofilms Innovation Centre (NBIC):  Prof. Cait Macphee was one of the co-founders of NBIC.  ECFP supports biofilms research by applying knowledge generated from biological physics research, collaborates with companies and leads the outreach activities for NBIC.   For example, a recent partnership between Dr Susana Direito and Professor Rosalind Allen from ECFP and catheter manufacturers Kimal PLC explored how catheter design affects biofilm formation.  More information on the project can be found here

  • EPSRC Future Formulations: Prof. Jin Sun (School of Engineering) and Prof. Wilson Poon (ECFP, School of Physics and Astronomy) are partners on the programme led by Dr Mark Haw of the University of Strathclyde on 'Predictive formulation of high-solid-content complex dispersions' seeking to understand the triggers for unstable flow behaviour in concentrated dispersions.  The industrial collaborators include AkzoNobel, Johnson Matthey, CPI, Schlumberger, The Chemours Company and Dupont.

  • WEAR sustain: Under the Biocoatile project, ECFP worked with textile designers to explore the applications of an ethically-sourced coating.

  • International Fine Particle Research Institute: Through this global network of leading companies in particle technology, the University of Edinburgh is privileged to have been awarded two IFPRI-funded projects, one on colloid-polymer mixtures to Prof. Wilson Poon at ECFP and the other on particle breakage during milling awarded to Prof Jin Ooi from the School of Engineering.

  • Industrial Biotechnology Innovation Centre: Through a IBioIC exemplar programme funded project, two companies and three research institutions (including ECFP) are working together to explore the potential of useful polysaccharides from microalgae.