The Sheffield Multi-Modal Imaging Centre (SMIC) will bring together academic expertise in biosciences and materials with new scanning, imaging, advanced microscopy, and related analytical technologies to test, innovate and improve existing and new products, primarily in the health and advanced manufacturing sectors.
The Centre has been jointly funded by the University and a £1.6m grant from the England European Regional Development Fund as part of the European Structural and Investment Funds Growth Programme 2014-2020.
It will be a leading research and development facility, bringing together industry-recognised equipment and expertise in biosciences, health and materials.
The new equipment will be used to further develop University research as well as being accessible to regional businesses.
The Centre aims to:
- Increase competitiveness of Sheffield City Region companies in priority sectors including manufacturing and health care technology
- Develop new materials, products and components, improve existing products and processes, and increase performance and market opportunities for businesses
- Increase the number of SMEs engaged in knowledge exchange and collaboration
- Increase investment in R&D and improve the commercialisation of new or enhanced products or services
Professor Malcolm Clench, Director of SMIC at Sheffield Hallam University, said: “This is a fantastic development for the University and Region. The funding has been the catalyst for us to bring together the world class expertise and facilities in imaging technologies that exist in Sheffield Hallam for the benefit of local businesses and organisations.
“Images can convey a wealth of information in a simple to understand format. We are excited by the opportunities for collaborative projects in materials, health and bioscience that these facilities open up.”
The Centre was officially opened today by Louisa Harrison-Walker and Alexis Krachai, Interim Executive Directors of Sheffield Chamber of Commerce and Industry.
Louisa said: “One of our core aims at Sheffield Chamber is to support greater partnership working to help Sheffield become the best place in the UK to launch and grow a business.
“Sheffield Multi-Modal Imaging Centre will be a fantastic resource to help businesses in the region to innovate and grow.”
One of the pieces of new equipment, a radiotherapy 3D surface scanner, is the first of its kind to be installed in a UK university.
The scanner will be used to further develop research led by Sheffield Hallam University to improve the accuracy of breast cancer radiotherapy as well as training NHS staff of the future using the latest technology.
The University has also invested in mass spectrometry imaging equipment which is being used by researchers in collaboration with Labskin UK, who produce artificial skin models, to look at the effects of pharmaceuticals and consumer health care products on healthy and diseased skin.
Through the use of this specialist equipment the team has been able to analyse the absorption, metabolism and wound-healing properties of various applied skin products.