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Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network NanoKTN helps BHR Group secure euro funding

NanoKTN Project Partnering Delivers €2.5million funding for Infineum, BHR Group and Ricardo Engineering to Develop New Generation of Nano Based Lubricants

The Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN), one of the UK’s primary knowledge-based networks for Micro and Nanotechnologies, has helped secure over €2.5 million funding for a number of its members, to aid further development into a new generation of fluid lubricants that use nanomaterials.

In February 2008, BHR Group, a leading UK research and consultancy provider, in association with the NanoKTN, held an Open House event focusing on incorporation, break-up and rheology of nanoparticles. At the event, delegates from Infineum, an Oxfordshire-based developer of chemical additives for lubricants and fuels, invited them to join in a proposal for a grant application from the Framework Programme 7 (FP7) Nanotechnology, Materials, Industrial Processes (NMP) call. The FP7 Programme is the European Union’s chief instrument for funding research over the period 2007 to 2013, to gain leadership in key scientific and technology areas.

In late 2008, it was announced that the FP7 project application had received approval from the EU and following a period of contract negotiation, the project started up in October 2009. The total value of the project is approximately €12M for a total of 15 project partners to investigate the prospects for overcoming the many existing technological barriers in the supply and usage chain, towards the establishment of a large scale market introduction of a new generation of fluid lubricants incorporating nanomaterials. From the total EC funding, NanoKTN members BHR Group, will receive €1.8M, Infineum €325k and Ricardo Engineering €430k.

Gerry McNulty, Director at BHR Group commented, "The Open Day at BHR Group organised by the NanoKTN in February 2008 has been a very successful event for us. We received an invitation on the day to join a proposal for a grant application to FP7 from the delegates from Infineum and since then have established a strong working relationship with them and the other partners to secure this funding.

The support of an influential body like the NanoKTN is essential to businesses looking to expand and the advice we have received has been invaluable."

Infineum’s UK Country Manager, and AddNano Project Coordinator, Martin Dare-Edwards, commented, "Infineum has appreciated the significant value of the NanoKTN in bringing together academia, independent research establishments and prospective commercial implementers of novel nanotechnology. Assistance for finding potential partners for collaborative nanotechnology R&D projects is a core role for the NanoKTN".

Alec Reader, Director of the NanoKTN, commented on the success of the funding project, "The costs to the NanoKTN were staff time only, which has been converted into what represents a €2.5million return on a simple but cost effective approach to consortia building implemented by staff at the NanoKTN."

Reader continues, "Realising the potential of UK businesses, particularly those in the early stages of development is crucial to the future wealth and manufacturing growth of the UK. At the NanoKTN we are dedicated to helping UK businesses realise their potential and it is great to see such a huge success as a result of the work we have done."

Infineum develops and manufactures chemical additives for lubricants and fuels that help to improve performance and create new functionality. As part of its innovation strategy, Infineum has been looking to evaluate novel nanomaterial additives in relation to prospective large-scale production and value in mainstream applications. It will look to further its investigation into the potential for certain novel nanoscale materials to be integrated into the lubricant supply chain to help reduce friction and enhance protection against wear, in particular to improve engine performance in the automotive sector.

With over 60 years experience, BHR Group is a fluid engineering centre providing a range of expertise in the fields of process technology, fluid systems, and services for the water, environment and power industries. BHR Group pioneered abrasive waterjet cutting technology, and its subsidiary DIAJET manufactures and sells cutting equipment for hazardous environments.

BHR Group Limited is an independent technology provider that specialises in the fluid dynamics and mechanics, and fluid physical and chemical behaviour of industrial processes. They provide consultancy; research and computational modelling services to sectors including chemicals, pharmaceutical, energy, water and wastewater, and aerospace.

Ricardo is a leading provider of technology, product innovation, engineering solutions and strategic consulting to the world’s automotive, transport and energy industries.

The NanoKTN is dedicated to helping its members understand how to write a successful proposal and identify suitable partnerships for collaborative work. Through a combination of updates, e-bulletins, and events such as ‘Open Houses’, the NanoKTN aims to assist its members and create connections between research, academics and manufacturers.

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