NanoKTN Helps the University of Birmingham Secure Projects with Aston Martin

11 December 2012

The Nanotechnology Knowledge Transfer Network (NanoKTN –, one of the UK’s primary knowledge-based networks for Micro and Nanotechnologies, is pleased to announce that it has helped the University of Birmingham to secure a number of projects with luxury sports car manufacturer, Aston Martin, following attendance at one of the NanoKTN’s HiPerNano conferences.

Scientists and the business development team at the University have worked together with Aston Martin on a number of projects that utilise several different areas of the University’s expertise. An initial project through the Advanced Materials programme, part of the Science City Research Alliance initiative, looked at investigating the company’s paint processes and successfully identified areas for improvement. This project led to further work with the Interactive Multimedia Systems Group in the University’s School of Electronic, Electrical and Computer Engineering, which focussed initially on human factors and future instrument panel design.

Richard Simpson, Business Engagement Manager at Birmingham University explains, "We attended the NanoKTN’s HiPerNano event in 2010 at Cranfield, and met with Ian Minards, Director of Product Development at Aston Martin and as a consequence, further projects resulted.”

"At the University, we provide direct help to businesses in the region allowing them exclusive access to specialised state-of-the-art scientific equipment and to the university’s research expertise. This direct contact with the University and access to groundbreaking equipment will enable companies to take forward the research and translate it into commercial outputs or use it to optimise their manufacturing processes.”

Aston Martin is now also a valued sponsor of the University’s entry in the Formula Student UK competition where a race car is produced by engineering students. To support this work Aston Martin donated one of their cars to the School of Mechanical Engineering for the students to use in their teaching and research.

Dr Martin Kemp, Theme Manager at the NanoKTN adds, "Our annual HiPerNano conferences raise awareness and promote developments in nanomaterials for the high-performance engineering industry and aim to bring together stakeholders in the industry to collaborate on mutually beneficial projects. We’re therefore delighted to see the direct impact that these events are delivering, providing a platform for companies to showcase their technologies and an environment for companies and academia to collaborate and deliver the improved performance and commercial benefits of using nanomaterials.”

Further information about the NanoKTN can be found at

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