Innovation

Our multidisciplinary work at the frontiers of knowledge continues to improve lives. Explore how we're driving developments in all areas of industry and society.

AMRC worker using augmented reality tech
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Confidence in Concept Scheme receives further funding

A consortium comprised of the University, Sheffield Children’s NHS Foundation Trust, Sheffield Teaching Hospitals NHS Foundation Trust and Sheffield Hallam University has won a further £3.5 million (its eighth round of funding) from the Medical Research Council’s (MRC) Confidence in Concept scheme.

A key part of the MRC’s translational research strategy, the scheme helps to accelerate the transition of new ideas from discovery research to translational development projects. In Sheffield, the four partner organisations are using the money to develop concepts to a point where they can compete for further funding.

Also this year, Insigneo Fellow Professor Julian Gunn has won a £295,000 British Heart Foundation Translation Award to continue with product development of VIRTUheart, which uses computational fluid dynamics and virtual reality technology to provide detailed, non-invasive assessments that help doctors treat coronary artery disease.


Developments across our Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre during 2019-2020

Our world-famous Advanced Manufacturing Research Centre (AMRC) will build and equip a new £20 million facility in the heart of Lancashire’s Samlesbury Aerospace Enterprise Zone. The University of Sheffield AMRC North West will work with academic and industrial partners in the region focusing on vehicle electrification, battery assembly and lightweighting technologies.

AMRC green-lit to drive innovation in Lancashire

Since it was announced, the new centre has won a further £9.5 million in funding to develop a 5G Factory of the Future programme. The funding was awarded by the Department for Digital, Culture, Media and Sport as part of the government’s £200 million investment in 5G facilities.

AMRC worker

Also in 2020, a new model for sustainable, affordable homes, developed by HLM Architects with the support of the AMRC, was shortlisted for the RIBA Home of 2030 award. The ForEva Home concept harnesses robotics and augmented reality technology to solve many of the issues associated with off-site construction and set a new design standard.

Finally, as people around the world strive to deal with the disruption caused by Covid-19, one project in particular has captured the spirit of the times. Working with robotics company i3Dr, the AMRC has developed a virtual reality operating theatre. The Stereo Theatre project enables surgeons to observe operations remotely and can also be used to train medical students.


Sustainable steel

The University will join SUSTAIN, a £35 million research partnership with Swansea University, University of Warwick, Sheffield Forgemasters and others that will transform the UK steel sector. Supported by a £10 million investment from the Engineering and Physical Sciences Research Council (EPSRC), the group’s research will drive the transition to a greener, smarter supply chain.

A £35 million boost for research to transform UK steel industry


Materials development could lead to profound impact

Colleagues in the Department of Materials Science and Engineering have secured £1.2million from UK Research and Innovation (UKRI) to develop a microscope facility that will advance our understanding of the structure of materials. This will drive the development of new and better materials that could have a profound impact in areas such as energy and the environment, 3D manufacturing and biomaterials.


New materials to fight MRSA

A team of researchers from the Department of Mechanical Engineering and the School of Clinical Dentistry have manufactured a 3D-printed material that could stop the spread of infections such as MRSA. Their findings have potential applications in general hospital use as well as in medical devices, children’s toys and oral health products.

Sheffield scientists create 3D printed parts that can kill bacteria


Prototype to detect oral cancer

Zillico Ltd, a company born out of a partnership between our Insigneo institute, the School of Clinical Dentistry and Sheffield Teaching Hospitals, is developing a device that offers a non-invasive method for detecting oral cancer. The team has secured £1 million in funding from SBRI Healthcare to develop the prototype.


Radiocarbon dating technique recalibrated

In a development that will have a huge impact in areas such as heritage, conservation and climate change modelling, Sheffield scientists, including Dr Tim Heaton from the School of Mathematics and Statistics, have helped to improve the technique of radiocarbon dating.

The seven-year project saw a team from the universities of Belfast, Bristol, Glasgow, Oxford, Sheffield and St Andrews, plus international colleagues, recalculate the mathematical curves used in radiocarbon dating to make the process more accurate.


The Royce Discovery Centre

Next generation materials research

Construction of the new Royce Discovery Centre at Portobello Street was completed in July 2020. The centre, which will transform the way materials research is carried out at Sheffield, is expected to be fully operational in 2021.

Researchers will work in tandem with the Royce Translational Centre, applying new discoveries to real manufacturing challenges. Together, the two centres will also train the next generation of materials scientists.

Materials discovery to be transformed by new cutting-edge research centre


Our expertise attracts new fusion energy facility

The UK Atomic Energy Authority (UKAEA) is building a £22 million facility for fusion energy research in our region, to capitalise on University of Sheffield expertise.

The new facility, set to create 40 highly skilled jobs, will be part of the Advanced Manufacturing Park near Rotherham. Fusion energy is a potentially world-changing form of low-carbon electricity. This new facility will see the UKAEA work closely with our AMRC and Nuclear AMRC to develop and test the technologies that could make it possible.


Our commitment to the Sheffield City Region

Innovation drives growth. And our commitment to the Sheffield City Region is as strong as ever.

The Sheffield Innovation Programme (SIP), a partnership with Sheffield Hallam University, provides consultancy services for SMEs that need access to academic expertise and facilities in order to grow.

Recent SIP successes include Firma Engineering Limited’s collaboration with our robotics experts to develop a sophisticated drone to help with the clean-up of nuclear facilities. A project with Catal International Limited used our advanced scanning and electron microscopy facilities to assess a groundbreaking new product.

Innovation project set to help regional businesses


Translational Energy Research Centre: artist's impression

Translational Energy Research Centre

Funded by £7 million from the Department for Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy and £10 million from the European Regional Development Fund, our Translational Energy Research Centre is providing businesses with expert advice and facilities for research and development.

As the UK works towards a clean energy future, this national testing facility will play a vital role. We’re also helping businesses find the talent they need. Our award-winning RISE programme with Sheffield Hallam, now revamped and relaunched with European funding, will help over 200 businesses to employ 330 graduates by 2022.

Innovation drives culture too. Thanks to Sheffield’s vibrant creative industries and the world-class reputation of our Faculty of Arts and Humanities, with its particular flair for public engagement, Sheffield was chosen as the hub for the nationwide Being Human festival in 2019.


RISE business support programme

We’re also helping businesses find the talent they need. Our award-winning RISE programme with Sheffield Hallam, now revamped and relaunched with European funding, will help over 200 businesses to employ 330 graduates by 2022.


Sheffield chosen as the hub for Being Human Festival

Innovation drives culture. Thanks to Sheffield’s vibrant creative industries and the world-class reputation of our Faculty of Arts and Humanities, with its particular flair for public engagement, Sheffield was chosen as the hub for the nationwide Being Human festival in 2019.

Flagship institutes

Our four flagship institutes bring together our key strengths to tackle global issues, turning interdisciplinary and translational research into real-world solutions.