Sunday 22 July 2007
John Denham was welcomed by Vice Chancellor Professor Diana Green, before officially opening the refurbished laboratory at the world-renowned Sheffield Hallam Nanotechnology Centre for PVD (Physical Vapour Deposition) Research.
The Centre is a world-leader in its field and has collaborated with a number of European, US, and Far Eastern companies such as Airbus, Siemens, Fiat, Bosch, BIOMET, IonBond International and Hauzer, as well as leading research organisations. Working at the cutting edge of research, it is creating and developing advanced coatings to increase the life of production tools, and reduce manufacturing costs and energy losses.
Met by Centre Director Professor Papken Hovsepian, and Acting Director of the Materials Engineering Research Institute Professor Chris Care, the Secretary of State toured the facilities and was given a demonstration of the techniques involved.
He praised the Centre's research and the way it worked closely with business, as an example of the real world innovation he wants his new department to champion.
The Secretary of State said, 'Britain is changing and there are new challenges ahead in increased global economic competition and rapid technological development. Universities and colleges have a significant social and economic contribution to make through their wide-ranging interaction with everyone from business and community groups to global partnerships.
'I am determined that the new Department which I head will lead the way in driving forward delivery of the Government’s long-term vision of making Britain one of the best places in the world for science, research and innovation. Our objective is to raise the level of education and skills at every level in our economy so as to give the UK that all-important competitive edge.'
Vice Chancellor Professor Diana Green said, 'We are pleased that the Secretary of State was able to open the new facilities, as the work of the nanotechnology centre embraces the central mission and vision of Sheffield Hallam University - the close coupling between research and business transformation.
'World-class research and innovation are alive and well in Sheffield Hallam University. Indeed, South Yorkshire's success in reinventing itself as a modern, wealth-creating economy is critically dependent on the two universities. Each of us is spearheading developments in key industrial clusters.
Last year Sheffield Hallam generated the most research income of all post-1992 universities - around £18.4 million. We already have an impressive track record of developing links with business and industry through ground-breaking research and the application of higher level skills.'
This text was originally published in Sheffield Hallam University News as 'Secretary of State praises University's commitment to innovation and enterprise' on 23/07/07