Royal Commission backs UK Industry and innovation to invigorate British research and development

  • £100k funding awarded to 10 young innovators to bring academia and industry together to tackle sustainability, medical and engineering challenges
  • Projects selected include cleaner solutions for wastewater treatment, bio-inspired wound healing, improved energy storage in batteries, and foundations for personalised medicine
  • Applications for the 2023 Industrial Fellowships are now open

Talented young innovators from across the United Kingdom have been awarded prestigious Industrial Fellowships by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, to develop solutions to some of society’s biggest challenges, from clean water to effective medicines.

Set up by Prince Albert to organise the Great Exhibition of 1851 and extended in perpetuity to invest the profits in UK innovation, the Commission has been supporting promising research ever since. For 170 years it has provided crucial support to advance R&D and help to make UK industry more competitive internationally.

Through the Industrial Fellowships, the Commission links academic research with industrial scale to develop entirely new commercial products and services. Fellows conduct their doctoral research with a company in their chosen industry, and are supported to take a deeper dive into the research questions that matter most. This enables students to investigate new ways of thinking about traditional problems, and become leaders in their field. The programme also equips companies with cutting-edge research without the premium price tag and strengthens links between universities and commercial organisations.

This year’s Fellows will be focussed on a broad range of topics from environmentally conscious wastewater treatment, to maximising battery efficiency, and even intelligent wound targeting with drugs derived from the human body itself.

Industrial Fellowships provide funding of up to £100,000, covering salary contributions, university fees and costs for doctoral studies for up to 3 years of research. The output of such an investment is estimated at £2 million a year in intellectual property, developing crucial new technologies and scientific advances that advance research fields and British industrial players. During the Fellowship, students are provided with support from academic and industrial supervisors.

Bernard Taylor, Chairman of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, said: “The Commission supports some of the most skilled and accomplished researchers across the UK to pursue cutting-edge projects and develop products and services with commercial applications. This research will create tangible impact on many of society’s most pressing issues.

The diversity of research projects being supported this year, in areas like biomedical science, 3D printing, and wastewater treatment, is testament to the ingenuity of young researchers across the country. Every new Fellow represents a stronger link between British industry and academia that has both economic and social benefits for all.”

The full list of 2022 Industrial Fellows are: