Declan Carey - MIDAS

Blog Archives

Celebrating 15 years’ industry-research collaboration

Technical textiles collaboratiProf Subhash Anand with Baltex MD, Charles Woodon has been at the heart of a partnership between University of Bolton Professor Subhash Anand MBE and Baltex Managing Director Charles Wood, working together for more than 15 years.

Baltex made the move towards specialising in developing three-dimensional knitted fabrics in 2000, beginning their relationship then with leading authority on technical textiles, Prof Anand.

Together, Baltex and Prof Anand have worked on a number of research projects, the most recent being the patented Airospring cushion which helps prevent pressure sores, a medical condition which can affect people confined to a single position, such as wheelchair users or those confined to bed. Having developed the Airospring cushion, a mattress topper has now been created. The treatment of pressure sores costs the NHS up to £2.6bn a year.

Said Prof Anand: ‘Working in partnership with Baltex has been hugely productive and is paying dividends for the University in terms of the royalties being generated from the patent. The demand for these products is potentially global.’

Said Charles Wood: ‘I am very proud of the association with the University of Bolton which is providing world class research in the area of advanced textiles.  It is a great advantage to all the employees at Baltex.’

The collaboration success story includes partnership developments such as orthopaedic support bandages for compression therapy, the world’s first single-layer three-dimensional fabric for venous leg ulcers and a knife-proof smart material for use as a protective vest to be used by the police and military. Over 15 years there have been three patents and six projects delivering outcomes.

Ambassador of Japan credits Manchester’s potential to ‘take Japan-UK relationship to the next level’

2016-03-03_ManchesterEvent-007The Ambassador of Japan to the United Kingdom has commended Manchester for its work to improve investment relationships at an exclusive event.

Speaking to an esteemed audience at the Embassy of Japan in London last Thursday, H.E Keiichi Hayashi said: “I am sure that Manchester’s invitation to the Japanese business community to promote investment relations in the coming years is a little more than shirt sponsorship.”

“One and a half centuries on, Manchester is again extending its hand to Japan, inviting it to join the list of its priority international partners.”

“In my humble view the Manchester region, with its industrial heritage, excellent academic establishments and efficient transport links, is well placed to take Japan-UK relationship to the next level.  Like all of you I am eager to hear what others have to say in this regard.”

The event, titled ‘Science, Innovation, Infrastructure and the Rise of the Northern Powerhouse’, was supported by JETRO, the Japan External Trade Organisation, and MIDAS, Manchester’s inward investment agency.

Other speakers included influential Manchester representatives Lord O’Neill of Gatley, Commercial Secretary to the Treasury and Tony Lloyd, Mayor of Greater Manchester.

Talking of the event, Lord O’Neill of Gatley said: “Championing the exciting opportunities for global investment in the Northern Powerhouse is a key part of our plans to rebalance the economy.

“Already our great northern cities are attracting the eye of overseas investors, including Japan, and this event is a brilliant opportunity to showcase some of our most compelling projects to help them become a reality.”

Representatives of some major Japanese investors also took to the stage to explain why they had chosen to innovate in Manchester. Kozo Shimazu, Managing Director of Kratos Analytical drew similarities between Japan and Manchester’s proud scientific legacies, while Hironori Tsujimura, Executive Director at the London Office of East Japan Railway Company said that Greater Manchester’s infrastructure plans demonstrate a region with a bright future.

Through hosting the event Manchester sought to leverage opportunities brought about by the UK Government’s Northern Powerhouse initiative in order to attract Japanese investment. The Northern Powerhouse presents billions of pounds worth of investments covering a wealth of industries including advanced manufacturing, life sciences, creative and digital technology, as well as energy and environment. The event showcased the region’s strengths in these sectors whilst highlighting a wealth of opportunities to work with Japanese investors.

Manchester has a long history of welcoming Japanese businesses and collaborative partnerships and is home to over 60 Japanese companies, including Brother, Kratos Analytical, Hitachi, JTI and Fujitsu. The region is continually strengthening its ties with Japan whether it’s through sports, with Manchester City’s recent investment into Yokohama Marinos, or innovative R&D partnerships with Manchester’s universities.

Inaugral business of science event to be held in Manchester

BusinessofScience_MIDASA new business science conference for the North will be staged in Manchester for the first time.

Held in the year Manchester celebrates its status as European City of Science, the Business of Science Conference on Thursday 19 May will explore how the development and commercialisation of science is driving growth across the whole of the North.

The event will see an opening address from Dame Nancy Rothwell, president and vice-chancellor at the University of Manchester, along with talks from Sir Howard Bernstein, chief executive of Manchester City Council and Neil Murray, founder and CEO of RedX Pharma.

“Holding the very first Business of Science Conference in a city built on scientific excellence made perfect sense, and particularly in its year as European City of Science,” said Steve Bennett, managing director of Science North Limited, the organiser and host of the event.

“Our conference will explore the business of science and how successful commercialisation can drive economic growth – something which will accelerate as technical developments gather pace.”

Held at the Museum of Science and Industry in Manchester, the conference will explore the development and commercialisation of great science. With other speakers including senior figures from PZ Cussons, Siemens UK and the National Graphene Institute, delegates will hear first-hand how businesses succeed in science.

“From splitting the atom to the early development of computers and the demonstration of graphene, Manchester is alive with science which is transforming the world around us,” said Professor Rothwell.

“But science also engages directly with business which is why I’m delighted to be addressing those who are involved in the important area of science development and debating topics from maximising returns to organisational development and skills.”

The conference will close with a national perspective about the importance of science to the economy and a commentary on Manchester’s science future.

Event supporters include Active Profile, TransitionPlus, Wakelet, Cindr, Fatsoma  and WolfeLive.

Tickets per person cost £95+VAT with an early bird rate of £75+VAT by March 11th.

Visit for more details.

Greater Manchester Loan Fund makes £320,000 Trafford investment

The Greater Manchester Loan Fund (GMLF) has invested £320,000 into a specialist mechanical and electrical contractor at its Trafford site.

The announcement from the Maven Capital-managed GMLF will create approximately ten new jobs in the Greater Manchester area.

Since 1997, Emeg Electrical has steadily grown after an award of the principal contractor’s license from Network Rail, allowing it to tender directly on many infrastructure projects.

The license has allowed Richard Simmonite, managing director, and his team to build on its current relationship with the infrastructure giant, leading to significant contract wins on the East Coast Mainline.

In 2013, Chesterfield-based Emeg also invested in a second office in Trafford.

David Wright, investment manager at Maven, said: “The business is extremely ambitious as demonstrated by the opening of its new Trafford operation which lies close to Network Rail’s northern headquarters at Piccadilly, Manchester.

“We are delighted to support Emeg with its future growth aspirations and continue to look for similar businesses throughout Greater Manchester which require funding to fulfil their potential.”

Richard Simmonite, managing director at Emeg, added: “We are delighted to have received the support of the GMLF, via Maven, for our Manchester business.

“As with any SMEs, the funding will make all the difference to us, allowing the company to invest in people and infrastructure, creating real value and new jobs for the Manchester region.

“We see great potential in the North West from a rail prospective and this funding will be an enabler for growth for our business.”

Ferranti Computer Systems Comes Home To Manchester

Optimized-Ferranti_MIDASFerranti Computer Systems Ltd has announced today it has opened its first UK office for over 20 years in at The Landing at MediaCityUk. The news comes exactly 65 years to the month since the world’s first commercial computer, The Ferranti Mark 1, became operational at Manchester University.

First established in Oldham in 1896, the Ferranti company went through various changes of ownership and developed a wide range of subsidiary businesses within the computing, defence, aerospace, components, electronics and software sectors.

Now Ferranti Computer Systems, which is headquartered in Antwerp, has established a UK operation in Manchester to support its specialist customer management, billing software and services developed for companies within the water and energy sectors.

Mark Hurcomb, Chief Commercial Officer of Ferranti Computer Systems, said:

“Everyone at Ferranti Computer Systems is keenly aware and very proud of the company’s Manchester roots and the historical significance the city has in the history of computing and technology. Therefore when we were looked to open a UK office we immediately thought of Manchester.

“However our decision to locate to The Landing was not just driven by nostalgia or heritage, and the facilities and location perfectly meet our needs in terms of physical and technical connectivity, a strong emphasis on collaboration and a fantastic social and cultural environment for all our staff to enjoy, both Belgian and British.

“The office will support the growing customer base for our Microsoft based MECOMS solution, which is a CRM and billing solution for energy and water retailers available in the cloud and on-premise. The local office will showcase the solution aimed at new entrants, as well as established players in the dynamic UK marketplace.”

David McTear, Operations Director of The Landing, said: “It’s 120 years since the Liverpool engineer and entrepreneur Sebastian Ziani de Ferranti established an electronics company in Manchester, setting in train a series of technological breakthroughs and business ventures which gave birth to the world’s first commercial computer, inspired many other innovations, and spawned a global electronics empire.

“It’s therefore fitting that a company bearing his name has chosen to locate itself at The Landing as we embrace all of the qualities that helped drive Ferranti’s initial success over a century ago.

“We also are greatly looking forward to introducing Ferranti team to what Manchester and the North West has to offer, including a visit to MOSI where they can see both the original Ferranti Mark 1 and a replica of the iconic Baby computer which was its blueprint.”

To celebrate their return to Manchester, Ferranti Computer Systems Ltd also plans to host a special event in the city later in the year.

Contact Us

Contact us online or call
+44 (0) 161 237 4470