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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/D501229/1
Title: DICE: Driving Innovation in Chemistry & Chemical Engineering Research in the UK
Principal Investigator: Poliakoff, Professor M
Other Investigators:
Miles, Professor N Howdle, Professor S George, Professor M
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Department: Sch of Chemical and Environmental Eng
Organisation: University of Nottingham
Scheme: Science & Innov Awards Pre FEC
Starts: 01 March 2006 Ends: 30 November 2011 Value (£): 3,478,062
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Related Grants:
Panel History:  
Summary on Grant Application Form
Historically, chemistry and chemical engineering have been divided in UK universities, and this division is becoming increasingly serious. There needs to be a symbiotic relationship between the two disciplines and chemistry-based industry in the UK because the health of industry and academia are mutually dependent. The chemical industry is a major contributor to the UK economy but it faces unprecedented pressures (for example from global competition) which can only be countered by rapid and sustained innovation. However UK chemistry and chemical engineering departments simply do not currently have the interdisciplinary capacity to underpin this demand for innovation. Current progress is too slow and the UK lags way behind many countries, particularly USA, the Netherlands, Germany and Japan. DICE is a joint proposal from chemists and engineers which seizes the unique opportunity presented by the Science & Innovation Call to create a completely new research environment with the potential to catapult the UK to the forefront of this field. DICE will immediately deliver 6 new young lecturers with the support needed to launch research at the Chem./Chem. Eng. interface. Over 5 years, DICE will reshape the whole academic supply-chain (from undergraduate to postdoctoral) to provide a stream of researchers to sustain the continuous UK expansion of academic and industrial innovation at this interface. DICE will deliver new science and new technology, bringing engineering into areas where it is underexploited. Our programme pulls new ideas and techniques into the UK from across the world to strengthen and re-invigorate the UK research base. DICE builds on internationally acclaimed research successes at Nottingham which cut right across the Chem./Chem. Eng. divide. The nucleus is a group of chemists and chemical engineers whose work spans pure and applied research and links academia with industry. The. group has achieved on a small-scale what must be achieved nationally in this area. DICE builds on and expands their approach to create a Chemistry/Chemical Engineering Partnership, with a range of skills unique on a world scale, capable of making a substantial impact on UK science. DICE will drive the dissemination of ideas to universities and industry across the UK. Our Proposal involves several radically new initiatives(I) Flexi-Chairs: a completely new type of post to enable internationally-leading chemical engineers with a track-record at the Chem./Chem. Eng. interface to make extended visits to the UK to inject ideas and best practice from overseas. The Flexi-Chairs will be given postdoctoral support to initiate new, cutting-edge research in the UK; researchers from the USA, Japan & EU have already expressed great interest in the Flexi-Chairs. (ii) New research initiatives with high potential, including catalysis/biocatalysis, reaction chemistry, polymer synthesis and processing, instrumentation/process monitoring, photonics/devices, multi-scale modelling and education. (iii) Placement of Outreach Postdoctoral Researchers in leading chemical engineering departments at Birmingham, Imperial College, Newcastle and Sheffield, creating new partnerships to seed new research at the Chem./Chem. Eng. interface, and to train young researchers as candidates for the new generation of academics in this area. Each PDRA will work with a PhD student funded by the university hosting the placement. (iv) Flexible secondments to bring in key UK and EU industrial researchers to academia for both inward and outward knowledge transfer and to help the new staff in establishing their own industrial links.The University of Nottingham supports DICE very strongly and will commit more than 1M to fund two extra lectureships, additional Flexi-chairs, two technicians and a business development officer, all dedicated to this Project. In addition, the University will fund and provide dedicated flagship space to incubate the new research.
Key Findings
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Date Materialised
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Further Information:  
Organisation Website: http://www.nottingham.ac.uk