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Nanotechnology research boosted by Japanese link-up

20 Aug 2009

Professor Paul O’Brien and his research team in the School of Chemistry at The University of Manchester are joining forces with Murata Manufacturing Co. Ltd, a Japan based manufacturer, to form a new research collaboration.

Prof Paul O'Brien (second from the right) with reps from NWDA, Midas and Murata
Prof Paul O'Brien (second from the right) with reps from NWDA, Midas and Murata

Murata, the world’s largest global manufacturers of electronic devices, has signed a deal with the University to work on a research and development collaboration in the field of nanotechnology. Murata is a major employer in Asia and currently employs over 33,000 staff.

Japan is the second largest Asian supplier of Foreign Direct Investment (FDI) projects to the UK. It remains the most significant investor from Asia and continues to supply world-class innovation through high quality projects. In 2008/09, Japan contributed 81 new projects and created 1,405 new jobs, the sixth largest FDI source to the UK.

The Northwest Regional Development Agency (NWDA). and the region’s overseas team based in Japan together with UKTI have worked closely with Murata since 2007, when they first indicated an interest in forming an R&D collaboration in the field of nanotechnology with a UK university, to secure this partnership for the Northwest.

After detailed discussions with the NWDA and Professor Paul O’Brien the company have selected the University of Manchester as the academic institution with which they wish to form this partnership. 

Mark Hughes, NWDA Executive Director of Economic Development, said:

“This research collaboration is great news for the University of Manchester and testimony to the strength of the region’s reputation for research and development. The Agency has been working closely with Murata for some time to secure this for the region and I am pleased that work has now begun on the project, which may lead to further investment by Murata in future.”

Yukio Sakabe, Senior Corporate Advisor of Murata, said:

“We, Murata, feel very happy and honoured to be able to start collaboration works with The University of Manchester, with help from the NWDA. I am convinced that new technology and business in the field of nanotechnology are realised in future from this project collaborating with basic science of the university and engineering of Murata.”

Professor Paul O'Brien, Professor of Inorganic Materials at The University of Manchester, said:

“I very much welcome this collaboration with Murata, which provides access to skills and equipment in Japan and training for a Japanese scientist in some leading edge aspects of nanotechnology in my laboratories.”

Notes for editors

For further information please contact Alex Waddington, Media Relations Officer, The University of Manchester, 0161 275 8387 or Sarah Moston, Press Officer, NWDA on 01925 400 552 or 07810 528 471 or Sarah.Moston@nwda.co.uk.