30 September 2008

UCL Business is delighted to announce that breakthrough work coming from UCL’s Tissue Repair and Engineering Centre at the Royal National Orthopaedic Hospital has won £1.7million translational funding from the Technology Strategy Board.

Thanks to key funding from the Technology Strategy Board (part of the UK Government’s Department for Innovation, Universities and Skills) a collaboration has been established with The Automation Partnership (TAP). Based in Royston, UK,  TAP are the perfect partners to exploit this novel technology, which aims to revolutionise the rapid automated fabrication of tissues.

The technology is based on breakthrough work by Professor Robert Brown,  Director of TREC (Tissue Repair & Engineering Centre) on biomimetic connective tissue engineering, collagen architecture and translating basic cyto-mechanics to functional ‘neotissues’. Prof Brown has developed a prototype machine that can rapidly fabricate tissues on demand.

The grant from the TSB will now allow Prof. Brown’s team to work with TAP to develop a high speed machine that can be used as a platform for any application; cornea, skin bone, nerves.

Prof Brown, who is also co-ordinator of the British Tissue Engineering Network (BRITE Net), commented:“I am extremely pleased, TAP are perfect partners and the TSB grant will allow us to take this exciting technology through to the next phase of product development “.

UCL Business are delighted that the TSB has seen the potential benefit of the technology and the significant commercial opportunities that it opens up, and that TAP have shown such enthusiasm to be involved in developing the engineering elements of the project to production standard. “I am delighted to have found the perfect fit for this technology in TAP,” said Abbie Watts, Senior Business Manager at UCL Business

About The Automation Partnership.
The Automation Partnership (TAP) is a world leader in the design, development and implementation of advanced large-scale automation systems for the life science research industry. TAP specialises in automation for cell culture, sample management (compounds and biological samples) and ultra high throughput screening applications. TAP also offers custom engineering and strategic consultancy services to customers requiring unique solutions for complex and challenging problems.
web: www.automationpartnership.com

About the Technology Strategy Board
The Technology Strategy Board promotes innovation in many ways. As well as investing in programmes and projects, much of our work is in spreading knowledge, understanding policy, spotting opportunities and bringing people together to solve problems or make new advances. The Technology Strategy Board currently manages a range of programmes and delivery mechanisms to drive innovation. We invest in projects involving business and researchers working together to deliver successful new technology-based products and services. Over 700 CR&D projects have received investment since 2004, amounting to over £1 billion (about half from ourselves and half from the businesses involved). We are developing an international strategy which will look at how we benchmark, collaborate and participate in innovation internationally.
web: www.innovateuk.org

Further Information
For further information contact Abbie Watts, Senior Business Manager, UCL Business PLC on 020 7679 9000, (a.watts@uclb.com)