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think Business with Birmingham 1

Business with Birmingham

issue eight


inside Developing new medical devices for trauma care p3 New railway research institute in China p6
Join the Birmingham Business Club p5 Student internship goes down a storm! p7
2 think Business with Birmingham

news foreword
think health
By gum!
Self-structuring nutritional products
for controlled energy release and
satiety management

Developing new medical

devices for healthcare At the University of Birmingham our develop new commercial applications from
New Trauma Management Healthcare research leads to new inventions and fuels our research. Such mechanisms include
Technology Co-operative supports the innovation and business growth. We produce access to our intellectual property, Knowledge
development of medical devices and 6,000 talented and highly employable Transfer Partnerships (KTPs), a new Business
healthcare technologies
graduates every year. We play an integral role Club for SMEs, and free incubation space
in the economic, social, and cultural growth at Birmingham Research Park.
The future of vaccines
of our nation and our region. We generate
A Knowledge Transfer Partnership
over £1 billion of regional economic activity We have an excellent team of enthusiastic
with Touchlight Genetics Ltd
each year and support nearly 12,000 jobs. Business Engagement Partners, ready to listen
A Technology Alliance Partnership Our dedication to quality and innovation to the challenges you are facing. If you are a
World leader in serving science, was recognised recently by The Times business seeking a solution that will propel
Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc, team and The Sunday Times, when they named your business forward, and you think that the
up with the University of Birmingham us as ‘University of the Year’. ‘University of the Year’ can help, then please
get in touch with us.
think business This newsletter demonstrates some of the
Birmingham Business Club mechanisms that we use directly to support Professor David Eastwood
Join a new networking club for businesses businesses, entrepreneurs, and start-ups to Vice-Chancellor
and find out more about the benefits
of working with Universities

Doing business in India

A collaborative event with the CII and
UKTI examines the current environment
By gum!
for ‘doing business in India’
Liquid and soft-food nutritional formulations which has already been approved for use in
are highly palatable to consumers. However, food manufacture. This new technology enables
think advanced manufacturing
their rapid emptying from the stomach and transformation of liquid and soft-food formulations
New railway research institute in China
absorption can result in large fluctuations into nutritional products that self-structure
The Anhui-Birmingham International
Research Institute in Rail Transportation in blood glucose levels and limited satiating in the acidic environment of the stomach.
(ABIRIRT) is unveiled in Hefei power. Such effects are detrimental to cognitive
performance, physical performance and ‘Our recent findings suggest including
Battening down the hatches potentially long term health (eg, metabolic Gellan gum in such nutritional
Supporting SME, Truflo Marine Ltd, consequence of poor glucose control
formulations effectively improves
with the development of a range of high development of overweight and obesity).
performance ball valves
satiety and also control nutrient release
The consumption of liquid or soft foods that from energy-containing solutions’
think energy and environment restructure in the stomach into gels offers
Professor Ian Norton,
Separating the wheat from the chaff one way to slow down energy release from
University of Birmingham
University spinout, Linear Diagnostics nutritional products and provide sustained
developing onsite, low cost agri-food feelings of fullness for consumers. However, This is just one example of a technology
diagnostic test to-date, lack of effective technologies has available to licence through the University’s
limited progress in this exciting area of technology transfer company, Alta Innovations.
Student internship goes down a storm
self-structuring nutritional products.
Global leader in environmental and industrial
measurement employ University of Technology and IP
Now scientists, led by Professor Ian Norton,
Birmingham student on summer project
from the School of Chemical Engineering at Learn more
think tailored for business the University of Birmingham have developed
Contact us a process, using ‘Gellan gum’, a gelling agent, contact:
think Business with Birmingham 3

think health

Developing new Case study

medical devices A brand new bone debridement device
designed to remove infected matter from the

for trauma care

bone has been invented by Miss Deepa Bose,
a consultant orthopaedic surgeon and fellow
clinician Dr Simon Williams, based at UHBFT.
Current surgical tools for these procedures
tend to be rigid, straight devices that make
The University of Birmingham is a key partner development, and navigation through medical it very difficult to access the bone cavity
in the recently awarded National Institute for device regulations and device usability and remove infected matter from inside.
Health Research (NIHR) centre for developing evaluation studies.
trauma management technologies. Miss Bose and Dr Williams first contacted
The NIHR Trauma Management HTC is one the Research and Development department at
The NIHR Trauma Management Healthcare of the eight funded co-operatives. It is hosted UHBFT and were put in touch with the NHS
Technology Co-operative (HTC) is designed by University Hospitals Birmingham Foundation Innovations Hub for the West Midlands who
to pull together clinicians, academics, patient Trust (UHBFT) and is led by the University’s linked the inventors with Coventry University’s
groups, charities and industry to facilitate Senior Lecturer in Anaesthesia and Intensive Health Design Technology Institute. This team
development of new medical devices and Care Medicine, Dr Tom Clutton-Brock. developed a number of initial concepts for
technology-dependent interventions which the device which were finalised into a design
improve treatment or quality of life for trauma incorporating adjustable hinges to allow
NIHR Trauma Management HTC
patients, ranging from pre-hospitalisation to for much greater dexterity when working
assisted living in the home. The HTC works Learn more in bone cavities. The device is now being
collaboratively with industry, supporting manufactured by the Sheffield company Platts
grant applications, IP protection, prototype Contact: and Nisbett and will reach the market soon.
4 think Business with Birmingham

think health
The future of
Touchlight Genetics Ltd (TLG) is at the Working with researchers at the University of generating vaccines uncontaminated with
forefront of the development of innovative Birmingham’s School of Biosciences, led by unwanted DNA sequences.
DNA-based medicines for the treatment Professor Jeff Cole, the Company has now
of both human and animal diseases. The embarked on a Knowledge Transfer Partnership TLG have developed a process for synthesising
company has also developed an effective (KTP)* project that will develop the cloning DNA to be used in healthcare, and are
drug delivery system. These DNA-based and expression of DNA metabolising enzymes developing in-house equipment to scale
drugs have the potential to revolutionise to enhance the biosynthesis of novel DNA up production. Their process requires two
healthcare provision. vaccines. The TLG technology is unique in enzymes, only one of which is currently
produced in-house. Expertise in Birmingham
will be exploited to produce and purify
commercially useful quantities of the second

Thermo Fisher Scientific forms enzyme and is critical to successful completion

of the KTP. This partnership with the University

its first European Technology

of Birmingham will give TLG opportunities to
commercialise their research by generating
products of critical importance to healthcare
Alliance Partnership and the UK economy.

Successful delivery of this project will

Thermo Fisher Scientific Inc., has entered privileged status with respect to personnel significantly extend the range of products
into its first Technology Alliance Partnership exchanges, business and product TLG can market thus leading to the creation
in Europe with scientists from the University development, and research collaboration, of new jobs.
of Birmingham. The alliance will aim to as well as studentships and placement
accelerate research in high-resolution opportunities for PhD students. ‘It is important for our experts to
accurate mass (HRAM) and triple quadrupole share knowledge with academic experts,
liquid chromatography-mass spectrometry Thermo Fisher, with revenues of over
particularly when a company has the
(LC-MS) for life science applications. $12B, is one of the largest science service
companies in the world, and the global
ambition to revolutionise the established
This partnership will focus on the market for metabolomics is expected to field of vaccines and to bring new drugs
groundbreaking work of the University’s reach $1.5B by 2017, with applications to the market. We are enjoying the
College of Life and Environmental Sciences ranging from clinical to environmental. participation of our KTP Associate in
in metabolomics and proteomics – the study our laboratory, and we hope that both
of molecules created by biological processes ‘The University of Birmingham entities will benefit from the experience.’
– and builds on investments in Systems scientists share our drive to make the
Science for Health. After almost a decade Jonny Ohlson, CEO, Touchlight Genetics Ltd
world healthier, cleaner and safer.
of collaboration between the two organisations,
the alliance will now give the University a
We look forward to a very productive
collaboration with this innovative,
creative group for advancing Knowledge Transfer Partnerships (KTP)
Systems Science for Health
metabolomic and proteomic research.’ Learn more
Learn more Iain Mylchreest, Vice President, contact: Research and Development,
activity/metabolomics Thermo Fisher Scientific
*KTP aims to help businesses to improve their competitiveness and
contact: productivity through the better use of knowledge, technology and skills that
reside within the UK knowledge base. KTP is funded by the Technology
Strategy Board along with other government funding organisations.
think Business with Birmingham 5

think business
Join the Birmingham Business Club
The Birmingham Business Club was with the University of Birmingham and potential ‘Birmingham Business Club will provide
recently launched when businesses partners eager to tap into the considerable an opportunity for businesses to network
from across the West Midlands region opportunities on offer from the University.
with peers, to find out about ways they can
visited Birmingham Research Park for
an opportunity to network, be informed Nick Blinco, Director of Engagement,
work with the University, and to be able
about funding opportunities and learn University of Birmingham welcomed guests to influence how we enhance our business
how they can access the knowledge and and was delighted to announce the launch offer. In addition it will facilitate debate
expertise at the University of Birmingham. of The Birmingham Business Club which as we are keen to listen to what business
will be a gateway for business, in particular wants and to respond quickly.’
Delegates were also treated to an informative local SMEs, to the University.
and entertaining talk on consumer markets Nick Blinco, Director of Engagement,
and brand loyalty by marketing expert, Businesses who become members of the Club University of Birmingham
Isabelle Szmigin, Professor of Marketing will benefit from regular breakfast networking
at the University of Birmingham. events, new funding announcements, access
to a range of state-of-the art equipment and
Join the Birmingham Business Club
The audience was a mix of business leaders free hot desks and meeting rooms in the
who have already benefitted from engaging parks business incubator, BizzInn. Learn more

Doing business in India

Having the second largest Indian community ‘The Midlands have been the heart
in the UK, Birmingham has strong industrial
of British Industry, of its strengths in
and business links with the country. With an
audience of around 60 businesses, many of
innovation, R&D and manufacturing.
them global, the panel discussed the current We aimed to bring UK companies and
landscape for engagement in India, both the Indian industry together to discuss business
challenges and the opportunities for growth. opportunities and possibilities and at the
The event also demonstrated the activities and same time understand the policy and the
the capabilities of the University of Birmingham regulatory framework of doing business
and with an established office in New Delhi it
in India. The event sparked some really
is clear that India is a strategic international
market for the University in terms of developing
interesting discussion and demonstrated
research partnerships, business engagement what enthusiasm there is to open up new
The University of Birmingham recently activities and student recruitment. areas of collaboration.’
hosted a collaborative event with the
Confederation of Indian Industry and UKTI The University has significant research Dr Gunveena Chadha, Director and Head,
to highlight opportunities and examine the strengths in sport exercise, health and medical UK Confederation of Indian Industry
current environment for ‘doing business technologies, engineering and transport, and
in India’. A panel of senior executives energy and environmental technologies all with
including the Consul General of India considerable relevance to India. It is actively University of Birmingham Business events
to Birmingham and representatives from looking at opportunities to engage with UK
leading Indian businesses such as Tata and Indian businesses around their innovation Learn more
Motors and Infosys, came together for needs in these areas.
a lively and interesting discussion. contact:
6 think Business with Birmingham

think advanced
NEW RAILWAY RESEARCH ABIRIRT/Birmingham Centre for Railway

INSTITUTE IN CHINA Research and Education

Learn more
The Anhui-Birmingham International Research ‘The formation of the new Anhui- contact:
Institute in Rail Transportation (ABIRIRT) was Birmingham International Research
unveiled in Hefei recently by Professor Richard
Institute in Railway Transportation
Williams, Pro-Vice-Chancellor and Head of the
College of Engineering and Physical Sciences (ABIRIRT) will offer us the opportunity ‘In Anhui Province alone there are
at the University of Birmingham and Mr Zhang to support and influence the development 16 cities actively planning or building
Tianpei, Deputy Director-General of Anhui of railways in a country where there are high-speed rail systems, the formation
Development and Reform Commission. now 10,000km of high speed line. As of ABIRIRT is perfectly timed to make
the Institute grows we aim to develop key contributions to this development.
The new Institute provides a substantial physical
base, located in Hefei, positioned alongside one
significant research capability in Anhui, We will provide our total support for
of the China High Speed Train Authorities and so that it acts as a base for our railway the success and growth of ABIRIRT.
further strengthens the esteemed portfolio of research not only in China but I hope it will become a good example
the Birmingham Centre for Railway Research throughout Southeast Asia.’ of the UK-China collaborations.’
and Education (BCRRE), the largest academic
railway group in Europe. Two initial research Professor Clive Roberts, Director of Deputy Director-General of Anhui
projects will focus on Hefei Metro Line 1, ABIRIRT, and Director (Research) of Development and Reform Commission
which is currently under construction.  BCRRE at the University of Birmingham Mr Zhang Tianpei

Battening down the hatches!

Truflo is a specialist designer, manufacturer With support from the University of ‘The expertise of the researchers at the
and supplier of high integrity valves, Birmingham’s Innovation Voucher scheme University of Birmingham has been
actuators and pressure reducing stations the Company are working with Dr Karl Dearn invaluable and is key to us remaining
for critical seawater, nuclear and naval from the University’s School of Mechanical at the forefront of delivering high
marine applications. For several decades Engineering, to produce a feasibility study
integrity flow control solutions to our
they have been at the forefront of the Naval on possible design options that will look in
customers. We believe that this strong,
Marine industry and there are currently particular at solutions around linear or rotary
120,000 Truflo valves in service in 21 motion. And future work through a Knowledge
long-term, mutual relationship is
navies worldwide. Transfer Partnership will involve research of essential to ensure best practice and
latest materials and technologies, design, FEA that the latest technologies are
The latest challenge for the Company is to analysis, prototype manufacture, extensive transferred into our business.’
produce a ‘zero leakage’ through seat and testing and product performance evaluation.
Clayton Manley, Managing Director,
to atmosphere ball valve for safety critical
Truflo Marine
applications and arduous environments. Nil Truflo have also provided opportunities for
leakage is essential to minimise environmental University of Birmingham students on gap
impact both in terms of reducing energy year and summer projects that have looked to
consumption and reducing harmful emissions. advance product development whilst at the University of Birmingham Innovation
Current sealing technology is best suited for same time enhancing the students’ knowledge, Vouchers/KTP/Student placements
linear motion and equipment is relatively slow practical experience and future employability.
Learn more
to operate, fragile and subject to failure when
used in rotary applications. contact:
think Business with Birmingham 7

think energy and

Separating the
wheat from the chaff
University of Birmingham spinout company, Horticultural Development Board will act as
‘Linear Diagnostics is the second company
Linear Diagnostics Ltd, together with advisors to the project. to emerge from Bioscience Ventures and
Molecular Vision Ltd and the Food and is further validation of our model to
Environment Research Council (Fera) have Linear Diagnostics is a specialist diagnostic commercialise IP from the University of
recently announced the award of a £392k company, established by Bioscience Ventures, Birmingham. This is an exciting project,
grant from the UK’s innovation agency, the a joint venture between Abingdon Health and
which leverages the collective expertise
Technology Strategy Board, to help fund a the University of Birmingham. The Company
within the Abingdon Health group and
two year project that will aim to prevent the has developed a proprietary platform
spread of diseases in harvested crops. technology based on linear dichroism, a has the potential to transform current
molecular spectroscopic technique, to create agri-food testing and provide significant
The project aims to develop a low cost, onsite, rapid, onsite tests for the detection of multiple economic benefits’
single test for multiple pathogens that will help agents. The technology was invented by
Dr Chris Hand, CEO Abingdon Health
prevent the spread of spoilage diseases when Professor Tim Dafforn and Dr Matt Hicks from
crops enter storage or are washed prior to the University’s School of Biosciences, and
packaging. It will combine Linear Diagnostics, can be applied across a number of sectors
University of Birmingham spinout
patented linear dichroism detection technique including agriculture, veterinary and human companies
with the optical detection expertise of healthcare, where the company is currently
Molecular Vision and the key reagents and developing a test for the multiplexed detection Learn more
detection expertise of Fera. QV Food, a major of infectious disease agents in sepsis.
food producer, and the Agricultural and

Student Internship goes down a storm!

Vaisala is a global leader in environmental The Company decided to offer a student ‘We were able to utilise a motivated
and industrial measurement. They provide internship that would look at how they could individual with up-to-date knowledge
a comprehensive range of innovative improve this, using their existing observation- and skills for an important project.
observation and measurement products based model and extensive data set with the Previous interns have subsequently joined
and services for chosen weather-related aim of refining the model to improve outcomes.
us full time after completing their degrees,
and industrial markets and serve customers University of Birmingham student, Andrew
so it can also be a good way of spotting
in over 150 countries. Hicks, fought off tough competition to take up
the internship, and undertook a specific project potential employees for the future.’
Low visibility weather phenomena (such as fog investigating low visibility phenomena (most
Geoff Hart, UK Country Manager for Vaisala
and haze) present potentially serious disruption significantly fog) particularly with reference to
to transport, and pose real threats to safety. airports. Andrew worked on testing different
They occur under certain weather conditions modifications to the model in an attempt to
and so far prediction has been difficult using increase its performance and a result of his Student internships, placements
numerical weather prediction models, because hard work good progress was made during and graduate recruitment
of a lack of a dense visibility observation his placement. Learn more
network, and the mixture of fog and haze.
8 think Business with Birmingham

think tailored
for business

Contact us…
we use our research expertise to
solve tomorrow’s problems today
Whether you are a large corporate organisation or a small business,
and whether you require a short term solution or have a long term

8454 © University of Birmingham 2013. Printed on a recycled grade paper containing 100% post-consumer waste.
project in mind, you can tap into the world-class expertise at the
University of Birmingham. We have an excellent team of enthusiastic
Business Engagement Partners waiting to learn more about the
challenges you are facing. If you are a business seeking a solution,
contact one of them today using the details below.

College/Department Name Email Telephone

Head of the team and your
Gurmit Kler +44 (0)121 414 6649
contact for Arts and Law
SME Engagement Kate Jermey +44 (0)121 414 5070
Engineering and
Richard Fox +44 (0)121 414 8921
Physical Sciences
Medical and Dental
Andy Mountain +44 (0)121 414 6832
Life and Environmental
Gurmit Kler +44 (0)121 414 6649
Social Sciences Andy Newnham +44 (0)121 414 8065
International (Asia) Bing Liu +44 (0)121 414 8647
PA to Head of Business
Jazz Jemahl +44 (0)121 414 8160
Engagement Partners

Development, Alumni and Business Engagement

University of Birmingham, Edgbaston
Birmingham B15 2TT
Edgbaston, Birmingham, Tel: +44 (0)121 414 3898
B15 2TT, United Kingdom