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Small science - big opportunity for businesses

A unique opportunity for forward-thinking companies to develop new products or processes based on latest emerging technologies is being launched by the region's Nanofactory.

The Nanofactory brings together nanotechnology experts from the universities of Leeds, Bradford, Huddersfield, Sheffield Hallam and York, and its Director is Professor Richard Williams, Pro-Vice-Chancellor for enterprise, knowledge transfer and international strategy. 

It aims to form partnerships with companies interested in exploring new business opportunities based on latest advances in nanotechnology. The project is part-funded by a £1m investment from the European Regional Development Fund as part of the Yorkshire and Humber ERDF Programme that is making substantial investments over the next three years to create jobs and increase business competitiveness in the region.

"Nanotechnology is 'small-scale science' that enables  the unique properties and behaviours of particles and materials at this nanoscale to be applied in a diverse range of sectors," explained Professor Williams.

"However, financing research to drive nanotechnology innovation forward is often out of reach for small and medium enterprises - SMEs - particularly in the current economic climate. Partnerships with Nanofactory universities connect the expertise of academic researchers with the needs of the region's companies, helping them to explore technology and potentially apply for a range of external funding opportunities."

The project is launching a series of sector-specific workshops this year which will provide a forum for companies and technology experts to brainstorm ideas for research and development, and ideas that are generated may form the basis of future grant applications.

For further information:

Please contact the University of Leeds Press Office on +44 (0)113 343 4031 or email


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