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Manchester scientists showcase research in British Parliament

Campaign highlights importance of long-term government funding to science

A University of Manchester spin-out which leads the development of quantum dots and technology allowing energy efficient lighting and televisions has showcased its work in the UK Parliament, as part of a national campaign run by the UK's Royal Society of Chemistry and Institute of Physics.

Entitled 'Inspirational science for a modern economy', the campaign demonstrates UK success stories, both in chemistry and physics, where innovations and companies have been formed from university science departments.

The campaign highlights the importance of long-term government funding to science and the benefits it has on the UK economy. The UK science and innovation system produces 15.9 percent of the world's most highly cited publications,  despite research and development investment (1.6 percent) falling behind competitors such as the USA and Germany, who invest 2.8 percent and 2.9 percent respectively.

Paul O'Brien and Nigel Pickett founded Nanoco Technologies Ltd at the University of Manchester in 2001 to progress the development of quantum dot technology. By 2013, Nanoco had a market capitalisation value of £384m.

Nanoco has been working to develop quantum dots for display applications. TVs containing the company's heavy metal-free quantum dots were showcased by LG at the Consumer Electronics Show in January 2015. Other areas of their research and development include lighting, biological imaging and thin-film solar cell applications. Nanoco is also working in collaboration with University College London (UCL), as part of an Innovate UK-funded project, to develop cadmium-free quantum dots for cancer diagnostics.

Nigel Pickett, CTO, Nanoco Technologies, said: "As an active member of the scientific community, Nanoco believe in the importance of collaboration between the public and private sector in furthering innovation in the UK. The government plays a crucial role in supporting novel companies that spin out of universities which in turn, have a huge impact on the growth and development of the UK economy."

Celebrating the value of scientific research, researchers, research councils and companies included in the joint campaign, presented their work to MPs, showing the real power and difference government funding to science can have, both in terms of new discoveries and technologies transforming lives, and also in economic gains.

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