UK's largest semi-conductor research laboratory now open for business

October 24, 2006

Brussels, 23 October 2006

The UK's largest cleanroom laboratory for research into semi-conductors and nano-magnetics has opened for business thanks to funding from, among other sources, the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF).

Based at the University of Sheffield, the GBP10 million (€15 million) centre includes a suite of business incubator offices and laboratories, as well as leading research and expertise in areas such as optical communication devices, magnetic storage media and solar cells.

The Centre will also house the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC) National Centre for III-V Technologies, a 25-year old establishment which will offer a wealth of experience in semiconductor materials used in devices such as lasers, light emitting diodes (LEDs), high frequency transistors and solar cells.

EU funding for the centre was made via the South Yorkshire Objective 1 programme, a GBP 2.2 billion (€3.2 billion) investment programme to help regenerate economies and create jobs. The programme received a total of GBP 815 million (€1.2 billion) from the ERDF to support economy boosting initiatives.

'The Nanoscience and Technology Centre is one of our key investments to create a knowledge based economy in South Yorkshire,' said Tony Newson of the South Yorkshire Objective 1 programme. 'This investment will develop R&D [research and development] capacity in an area with great economic potential and transfer the knowledge gained to SMEs [small and medium sized enterprises] as part of the university's strategy of engaging more effectively with regional economic stakeholders and business - a strategy which we completely endorse.'

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