Advanced Materials Development (AMD) has won a prestigious £1.6mln government award in partnership with materials scientist Dr Izabela Jurewicz.
The Future Leaders Fellowship award offered by UK Research and Innovation will fund Jurewicz’s transition from academia into industry with AMD, building on her work at the University of Surrey in the field of photonic crystals.
This is one of the first times a commercial company has received such an award in partnership with a leading academic, AMD said.
On receipt of the award, Jurewicz, who has been on AMD's scientific advisory board and working as principal investigator across its Surrey-based work, will move to a full-time position with the company at its main site on the Surrey Research Park, while maintaining full access to the university's laboratories as part of AMD's long-term partnership.
John Lee, chief executive of AMD, said it was “a huge milestone” for the company, “establishing a cornerstone in our future strategy”, and that he hoped it would begin before the end of the year.
“Izabela brings an enormous amount of expertise in the field of materials science and enjoys a very strong reputation as an innovative scientist.”
Jurewicz will also collaborate with a materials physics group from the University of Sussex, AMD’s other UK partner, where she will work with Professor Alan Dalton, who is chair in materials physics at the university and scientific advisor to AMD.
Jurewicz was the first PhD student to graduate from Dalton’s group, over a decade ago.
This is intended to drive collaborative R&D across both universities while also building AMD’s own in-house advanced engineering development team.
For her part, Jurewicz said: “I am extremely thrilled about this huge opportunity to join AMD to lead a multidisciplinary research team and to deliver smart and innovative nanotechnological solutions to global challenges.”
The award is a UKRI grant which the company has to match an element of under state aid rules.
The programme will be specifically on photonic crystal applications, some of which are already underway at Surrey, which Lee said will now be boosted with this funding and through Jurewicz working full-time for AMD.
Future Leaders Fellowship awards are designed to help move academics into industry and boost the commercialisation of technologies.