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Award Drives Collaboration Across Research Hub

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A new Electron Microscopy Facility at Cardiff University will work across academic disciplines to drive research – thanks to an award.

The custom-built research suite – to be housed in a bespoke Translational Research Hub – will expand its sample preparation capability across multiple University research strengths.

Members of Cardiff Catalysis Institute (CCI) collaborated with the ERDF-funded Institute for Compound Semiconductors (ICS), the Magnetic Materials and Applications research group (MAGMA), and the Schools of Earth and Environmental Sciences, Biosciences and Engineering to win £185K from the EPSRC’s Research Impact Fund.

The new specimen preparation equipment will provide the tools for sectioning and polishing a broad range of organic and inorganic materials such as biological tissues, polymers, metals, semiconductors, ceramics and geological samples.

Professor Rudolf Allemann, Pro Vice-Chancellor, International and Student Recruitment and Head of the College of Physical Sciences and Engineering, said:

This award neatly illustrates the value of the EMF and the future Translational Research Hub (TRH) as centres where world-leading researchers find new ways of working with partners across sectors including energy, healthcare and advanced materials to foster innovation, enable new research directions and develop funding proposals.

Professor Duncan Wass, Director of CCI, said:

The requested equipment will unlock untapped capability within the EMF centre of excellence. Aligning the needs of numerous Welsh Government ERDF funded operations will help researchers promote economic growth through business engagement, increasing grant capture, training and up-skilling researchers and attracting talent.

The award opens the door to future collaborations between ICS and CCI. The two institutes – which develop research expertise to transform industry – will share state of the art lab and office spaces in the Translational Research Hub.

Professor Peter Smowton, Managing Director, ICS, said:

The development of an advanced EM suite will accelerate impact in all fields and maintain competitiveness in the national and international HE sectors.

The EMF and Surface Science (XPS) will be housed next to the TRH on Cardiff Innovation Campus, due to open this summer.