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Details of Grant 

EPSRC Reference: EP/X02542X/1
Title: Digital Transformation of Electromagnetic Material Design and Manufacturing for Future Wireless Connectivity (DREAM)
Principal Investigator: Hao, Professor Y
Other Investigators:
Althoefer, Professor K Phillips, Dr AE Nallanathan, Professor A
Researcher Co-Investigators:
Project Partners:
Naimuri Ocado Group QinetiQ
Thales Ltd The Alan Turing Institute
Department: Sch of Electronic Eng & Computer Science
Organisation: Queen Mary University of London
Scheme: Standard Research
Starts: 01 June 2023 Ends: 31 May 2028 Value (£): 2,579,837
EPSRC Research Topic Classifications:
Electronic Devices & Subsys. Materials Synthesis & Growth
EPSRC Industrial Sector Classifications:
Communications
Related Grants:
Panel History:
Panel DatePanel NameOutcome
15 Nov 2022 Prosperity Partnership Round 5 Full Proposal Announced
Summary on Grant Application Form
BEIS recently launched the Innovation Strategy, which the Government will establish 'innovation missions' seeking to address global and UK challenges through innovation. The Government wants to focus on exploiting seven technology areas where the UK has global competitive strengths. The proposed research covers four out of seven areas including: Advanced materials and manufacturing; AI, digital and advanced computing; electronics, photonics, and quantum; and robotics and smart machines.

Together with QinetiQ, QMUL have developed a radically broad but new concept as "software defined materials (SDMs)", for which properties can be modified by simply uploading and updating computer software. The impact of SDMs is huge and it leads to tight integration of sensing, actuation, and computation that biological systems exhibit to achieve shape and appearance changes, and tactile sensing at very high dynamic range (like birds in flight). The vision of DREAM Partnership is therefore to unlock fundamental research opportunities promised by SDMs through digital transformation which are centered on design and manufacturing of novel electromagnetic materials for the automation and reconfigurability of future wireless systems.

The DREAM Partnership will provide added value to both organisations, including:-

Benefits for QinetiQ: Refresh of their technology portfolio using state-of-the-art materials and devices; securing new business by enhancement of the applications in wireless communications; greater international competitiveness through innovation insertion into systems; co-development of IP for enduring benefits in multiple markets.

Benefits for QMUL: Stronger and more engaged industrial partnerships; enhanced supervision by using external specialists from QinetiQ; Potential licensing income through innovation; Enhanced knowledge transfer and an applications centric focus aligned to UK industry requirements.

Benefits for UK:

Gain a foothold in the marketplace with a new technology; Establish a large supply chain through QinetiQ; Access export markets through new products with routes to markets established via QinetiQ and position the UK as a leader in a key growth sector to compete with overseas incumbents.

QMUL has agreed a property deal with the Department of Health and Social Care (DHSC) that paves the way for the development of a Whitechapel Life Sciences Cluster in East London, a truly inclusive environment with culture diversity. We envisage that this new space development will house a number of cross-faculty research centres including the Centre of the Internet of Medical Things, which aligns strongly to areas of existing strength in the DREAM partnership. QMUL was one of the first universities to offer degree-level apprenticeships. We have been awarded £28m to lead an Institute of Technology offering degree-level apprenticeships in data-science and engineering with over 30 industrial partners. This provides QinetiQ a ready framework to trial our pilot with people from non-academic routes. QMUL has recently established the Institute for the Digital Environment, investing £3m to establish a University Enterprise Zone incubating digital-health businesses. This provides the space and connectivity with QinetiQ, and offers a critical-mass to test our approach. We will invest a significant of time and effort on developing a body of innovative work on equality, diversity and inclusion (EDI) and resposnsible research and innnovation (RRI), particularly from safe AI and digital manufacturing impact on future workforce linking with QinetiQ ethics and code-of-conduct approaches. Finally, The DREAM Partnership will provide UK the opportunity not only to sustain this talented group with its legacy of more than 50 years of antenna and electromagnetics research innovation, but also to develop technologies relevant to wireless communications and and resilient infrastructures, which are beneficial to all citizens in the UK.
Key Findings
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Potential use in non-academic contexts
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