Page 18 - PERIODIC 2017
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Co
                A        llaboration


                of Excellence





                                                                Such ground-breaking research has to date resulted in
                                                                37 publications in international peer reviewed journals,
                                                                whilst in 2015-16, 10% of all the new patent filings arising
                                                                from the University of Oxford originated from the CoE. In
                                                                2015, Professor O’Hare received an Impact Award from
                                                                the University’s Mathematical, Physical and  Life Sciences
                                                                Division in recognition for his achievements in setting up
                                                                the CoE.
                                                                The establishment of the CoE itself has strengthened
                                                                scientific and commercial ties between the UK and
                                                                Thailand leading to Professor O’Hare and SCG’s
                                                                presentation to HRH Princess Sirindhorn at the British
                                                                Embassy, Bangkok in 2016. This was a tremendous
                                                                honour for all concerned and the first time a commercial
               The SCG-Oxford Centre of Excellence for          Thai organisation had been invited to showcase new
               Chemistry (CoE) is a unique collaboration        chemical technologies to the Thai Royal Family.
               between Siam Cement Group (SCG), one of the      It has been acknowledged that the next step for the CoE is
               largest petrochemical companies in Asia, and the   commercialisation; hence, three-way collaborations with
               University of Oxford, with dedicated laboratories   five other universities and two commercial entities were
               in the Department of Chemistry. Having begun as   created in the last two years:
               a small collaboration between just one student and
               Professor Dermot O’Hare back in 2009, the CoE was   As a direct result of new high surface area layered double
               established in 2013 and committed funds by SCG to   hydroxides (LDHs) being made at the CoE, in March 2017
               the CoE now total over £10 million, making it one of   the first pilot plant for LDH synthesis was opened through
               the largest industrial funders in the Department of   a joint long-term collaboration between SCG, University of
               Chemistry.                                       Oxford and Beijing University of Chemical Technology.

               The CoE team is led by Director Professor Dermot   New catalyst platforms developed for olefin polymerisation
               O’Hare and currently comprises 47 people, including 15   by the CoE have been transferred to SCG for testing.
               professors, 18 post-doctoral researchers, 13 PhD students   SCG are currently working with toll manufacturers for
               and an administrator who all contribute to its success.   catalyst scale-up for their pilot plant, with commercial use
                                                                expected in 2018/19.
               The main objective of the CoE is to act as a hub for
               academic/industry collaboration as well as delivering new   SCG are planning to build a second pilot plant to build-on
               innovation to SCG and impact at academic level. Research   opportunities in catalysis and polymer additives with the
               is focused on the area of nanomaterials – including the   first product launch, CierraFR™, expected in 2018.
               development of new non-toxic flame retardant additives
               for PVC in wiring and cables, and catalysis - including the
               conversion of CO  to hydrocarbon fuels and synthesis
                             2
               and characterisation of organometallic molecules for
               the efficient production of polyethylene and other
               biodegradable polymers.
               Forty-seven projects have so far been funded with many
               more in the pipeline. These vary from short innovative
               pump-prime projects under the umbrella of the SCG
               Innovation Fund (SIF) to longer-term projects funding 3
               year postdoctoral research assistants and studentships.


          18
              Periodic       The Magazine of the Department of Chemistry
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