Academics Take On Industry Challenges At Special Joint Workshop

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A joint workshop hosted by the N8 Industry Innovation Forum (N8 IIF) and global speciality chemical manufacturer Croda has helped to demonstrate the potential of academic-industry collaboration.

Taking place at The Best Western York Pavilion Hotel in York on May 15, the workshop was attended by more than 50 people, and saw academics from all N8 universities take on real industrial challenges set by Croda – and discuss these issues on a one-to-one basis with Croda’s representatives.

The N8 IIF is an initiative between the N8 Research Partnership, the Higher Education Funding Council for England (HEFCE) and Innovate UK to connect businesses with research intensive universities and other key organisations and networks involved in innovation.

This seminar was born out of the long-standing relationship which has grown between the N8 IIF and Croda since the forum’s launch in 2012: representatives from Croda have attended all four of the N8 IIF’s events on Advanced Materials, Healthy Ageing, Industrial Biotechnology and Food Security and Technology.

Themes addressed at the seminar included formulation, delivery and biobased surfactants.

Croda’s Damian Kelly, Vice President, Crop Care Sales and Health & Crop Care Technology – Europe (pictured), said: “The N8 represents a significant and valuable resource that industry can benefit from.

“Across the N8 there is a vast amount of technical expertise in areas of significant interest to Croda. The Croda/N8 workshop was an opportunity to bring that expertise together to explore in-depth how Croda and the N8 can work together to co-develop those areas of mutual interest.

“The workshop surpassed our expectations, it was well organised, extremely well run and helped us identify several opportunities which we must now turn into collaborative projects.”

Colin Reid, Director of the N8 IIF, added: “This joint workshop was highly successful, and generated a real sense of connection between the academics and the Croda team. We hope that the face to face introductions made on the day will bear fruit in the form of exciting new collaborations and projects.

“Creating environments in which academics could come together with industry representatives to address and in the long term, potentially solve, real industrial challenges is core to the N8 IIF’s mission and this event was a fantastic example of collaboration between the N8 universities and business.”