The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) extensively engages with the engineering industry, enabling UK companies to realise new manufacturing opportunities in high-value markets, such as SRF accelerator technology.
Until now the UK has found it challenging to compete in the high-value, high-technology global market for superconducting radio frequency (SRF) accelerator technology. Globally, the capability in this technology sector has been successfully commercialised by only eight recognised vendors, operating in the USA, Japan, Canada, Germany, France and Italy.
The work with STFC has pushed our boundaries – we’ve invested in new specialised equipment and employed another nine skilled mechanical engineers. It has given us the confidence to start up our own R&D programmes to equip the business for the future – this is something we wouldn’t have done on our own without STFC. Knowledge transfer projects such as this are enabling us to position ourselves to compete on the global stage.
CEO, Shakespeare Engineering Ltd
UK company Shakespeare Engineering Ltd has gained the necessary skills to access a new and significant manufacturing market in SRF technology as a direct result of working with STFC’s Accelerator Science and Technology Centre (ASTeC). The market is estimated to be worth in excess of £2bn over the next 12 years, spanning the medical, security and energy sectors.
The knowledge exchange was supported by funding from STFC’s Innovation Partnership Scheme (IPS), covering the full range of technical competencies which will enable Shakespeare to scale up to full production. Over the next two years, their qualification as a competitive provider of SRF technology will be comprehensively validated.
The collaboration between ASTeC and Shakespeare places the UK in a position to access this emerging high-value specialist fabrication market for the very first time. Together they will have the opportunity to bid for the construction of the SRF systems for major particle accelerators worldwide and potentially translate the technology to alternative commercial sectors.
The project has created several new highly-skilled engineering jobs. Combined with the up-scaling of production, this has motivated a recent expansion onto larger premises. Their work with STFC also led Shakespeare Engineering to streamline its processes and reduce machining time, adding instant value to their business. Both STFC and Shakespeare now have the capacity to develop unique accelerator technology capabilities in the UK and instigate a larger commercial exploitation.
The Science and Technology Facilities Council (STFC) keeps the UK at the forefront of international science and tackles some of the most significant challenges facing society and industry.
We collaborate with industry, the research community and government to develop business opportunities arising from our world-leading science and technology.
With our facilities, capabilities and expertise, we are perfectly placed to solve your technological innovation challenges and enhance your competitiveness – whether you are an established global corporation or an entrepreneur with a great business idea.
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Last updated: 02 December 2016