New Materials NTU and Cares Collaborate to Advance the Development of Nanomaterials
The Cambridge Centre for Advanced Research and Education in Singapore (Cares) and NTUitive, the innovation and enterprise company of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), are collaborating to advance the development of nanomaterials.
The Cambridge Centre for Advanced Research and Education in Singapore (Cares) and NTUitive, the innovation and enterprise company of Nanyang Technological University, Singapore (NTU Singapore), are collaborating to advance the development of nanomaterials. Supported by the National Research Foundation, Singapore (NRF) with funding of 6.5 million dollar, the project, Accelerated, Manufacturing Platform for Engineered Nanomaterials (Ample), will develop both software and hardware infrastructure that supports higher efficiencies and productivity of nanomaterials, commonly used in antimicrobial coatings, energy storage devices and composite materials. The technologies will be scaled up in an automated factory adopting Industry 4.0 practices.
Cares is part of the NRF Campus for Research Excellence and Technological Enterprise (Create) programme and was established in 2013 between the University of Cambridge, NTU Singapore and the National University of Singapore. NTUitive will support Ample in its Intellectual Property management, working closely with Cares on the technology development and commercialisation front, and will manage the project funding in partnership with NRF. The funding will come from NRF’s Central Gap Fund, which encourages cross-collaboration between academia and industry and aims to support the translation of research outcomes into scalable solutions that generate economic and societal benefits for Singapore.
The two-year Ample project will be led by Cares Research Fellows Nicholas Jose and Mikhail Kovalev; and Professor Alexei Lapkin Principal Investigator from University of Cambridge.
CEO of NTUitive, David Toh, said: “After 20 months of hard work, NTUitive is proud to pilot this model of academia-government partnership, where we aim to bridge the gap between research and product-to-market through the funding and scale up of promising projects with a specific outcome. The success of this multidisciplinary project between Cares and NTUitive will put Singapore in the lead position to produce novel nanomaterials, a field where the nation is already at the forefront.”
During his earlier work in Cambridge and Cares, Project Lead Nicholas Jose identified that the “central gap” hindering the commercialisation of nanomaterials is the lack of a value chain to take laboratory developments to market. Whilst innovation of new technologies is moving at unprecedented rates, the long timeline to commercialisation makes investors and industries reluctant to invest, creating a “chicken or egg” dilemma.
Nanomaterial Acts as a Molecular Thermometer
Ample will fill this gap by creating a market-ready technology platform for the rapid, scalable and cost-effective manufacture of nanomaterial technologies. Compared to conventional technologies, the Ample approach is expected to be over 100 times more efficient, significantly reducing experimental workload and scale-up complexities and improving nanomaterial quality. The resulting reduction in the budget and time required for development will enable businesses to rapidly innovate nanomaterialbased products with fewerpolluting manufacturing processes.
Working with industrial partners in the pharmaceutical, energy, and functional coatings sectors, the Ample project wants to demonstrate the ability to rapidly scale new material technologies with high quality and low cost.