EPSRC Impact Acceleration Account

Industry collaboration funding enables UK research organisations to speed up the real world impact of academic research. The Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) has awarded the University of Manchester £4.9 million to deliver an Impact Acceleration Account (IAA) to boost our industry engagement and collaboration. This IAA is helping us to maximise our economic and social impact by ensuring we deliver research and expertise effectively and efficiently to external partners in areas covered by EPSRC research. It funds a range of support mechanisms, from initial engagement and collaboration, through to commercialisation.

 

This offers you access to our research and expertise via the following schemes:

  • Relationship Incubator Scheme

    This scheme provides access to funding to overcome possible barriers due to market understanding and technology awareness by supporting time for initial discussions and scoping work. Either supporting the secondment-out of academics to organisations or the secondment-in of organisation representatives to the University, this scheme provides an opportunity to explore the application and exploitation of EPSRC research.

    Case Study | MapleBird Limited

    Buzz – A bridge between academic research and industrial application of flapping wing robotic vehicles.

    a miniature hi-tech looking flying robot flying around a flower

    Flapping wing propulsion offers advantages over conventional rotating propellers for very small flying robots and its exploitation allows development of significant novel applications. The UoM has developed world leading academic expertise in flapping wing aerodynamics, micro actuator dynamics, and integrated design procedures for insect-scale flapping wing vehicles. MapleBird (MB) has developed a highly innovative flapping robot concept that solves some of the problems of flight at this scale. In this project, MB provided technical specifications and examples of propulsion system materials and components. UoM provided an independent estimate of vehicle performance based on modelling tools developed at the university and experimental testing of components. The primary outcome is identification of key areas where UoM can offer value added input to MB. The principal value of the collaboration is research impact in striving to develop the world's first insect-scale free flying vehicle.

    Get involved and contact us

    If you have a project that you think may be suitable for a Knowledge Exchange project please contact us for more information or visit our Knowledge Exchange pages.

  • Concept Development Feasibility Studies

    This scheme provides an opportunity to bridge the gap in support for early stage commercialisation of ideas via a range of feasibility studies, for example, supporting the development of an early evaluation prototype or 'demonstrator', initial trials in a particular field, or scoping exercises.

    Case Study | Unilever

    a typical high shear rotor head; this spins inside a basket-like stator and mixes via shearing of the fluidThe School of MACE is working with Unilever in the manufacture of fast moving consumer goods, typical examples of which include mayonnaise and shampoo. A defining character of these products is their non-Newtonian behaviour.

    A striking example of non-Newtonian behaviour can be found in corn starch (you can find an example here). From an industrial point of view, the mixing of ingredients in a non-Newtonian fluid is a challenge; traditional process design relies on the scale-up of laboratory based product manufacture, and scale-up rules often do not work with non-Newtonian fluids.

    The School of MACE is helping to develop manufacturing process design through Computational Fluid Dynamics (CFD). An example is shown here, the figure on the right depicts a typical high shear rotor head; this spins inside a basket-like stator and mixes via shearing of the fluid. Through the application of high performance computing, turbulence modelling and CFD, MACE is able to predict quantities such as power consumption and mixing quality. These predictions feed directly into process control and inform the design of newer, more efficient mixers.

    Vortex filaments (more properly, Q-contour coloured by vorticity) for a high shear mixer

    Get involved and contact us

    If you have a project that you think may be suitable for a Knowledge Exchange project please contact us for more information or visit our Knowledge Exchange pages.

  • Exploitation Secondments

    One of the best ways to increase the exchange of knowledge is to encourage the exchange of people between universities and organisations.

    We can access flexible funding to support projects that focus on the commercial development of specific EPSRC research outputs. This includes secondments-in to the University of your staff, or secondment-out of our staff to your organisation.

    Case Study | New Intumescent Coatings

    Tata steel worksIn 2016 the School of MACE collaborated with TATA Steel, Sherwin William, Tremco Illbruck (manufacturers of intumescent coatings) and Exova Warringtonfire (a fire certification company) in the development of new intumescent coatings, a popular fire protection material for steel structures.

    This collaboration comprised a productive one-year project in which the School of MACE were required to provide guidance for the design of new intumescent coating products to be used on concrete filled tubular members. The project succeeded in specifying values of intumescent coating thickness for different temperatures of steel tubular sections which are filled with concrete. Additionally thermal conductivity values of intumescent coatings were specified in order to be used in design software written by the University of Manchester for TATA Steel to enable concrete filled tubes to be used in construction.

    Case Study | Jaguar Land Rover

    a virtual wind tunnel developed in Unreal Engine 4 software in which the user can explore the simulated air flow as it evolvesComputational fluid dynamics (CFD) is a common tool used in the aerodynamic design of vehicles to simulate the behaviour of air as is flows through or around geometry. In the automotive industry it can be used in place of wind tunnel experiments to provide insight into the impact of design changes, such the change in shape and size of a car wing mirror for example. However, simulations can ‌be time consuming to configure with results taking potentially days to generate. In the early stages of design, geometrical changes can be frequent and so running a high number of simulations to determine the impact of those changes can be impractical.

    The School of MACE is collaborating with Jaguar Land Rover  to develop a method of increasing early-stage application of CFD simulations involved in automotive design by providing engineers with an immersive tool for exploring the impact of design changes as they take place.

    Scanning laboratory prototype for computerised fluid dynamics analysis

    This project combines three areas of technology: 3D object scanning and reconstruction, real-time CFD and virtual reality visualisation to allow the automotive designer to 1) make changes to a physical geometry, 2) automatically scan and reconstruct that geometry into a virtual world and 3) visualise the results of a real-time CFD solver running on graphics processing units (GPUs) in virtual reality.

    A 3D object scanning laboratory has been constructed which uses 6 Microsoft Kinect cameras to scan and reconstruct a 3D car model. This model can then be read into our in-house CFD solver (based on the lattice Boltzmann method) and the air flow simulated. The result is then visualised in our virtual wind tunnel in Unreal Engine 4 in which the user can explore the simulated air flow as it evolves.

    Get involved and contact us

    If you have a project that you think may be suitable for a Knowledge Exchange project please contact us for more information or visit our Knowledge Exchange.

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