60 seconds with.. Professor Richard Hall of the Institute for Innovation in Sustainable Engineering

The Institute for Innovation in Sustainable Engineering (IISE) has a focused knowledge exchange strategy which supports innovation to fuel local economic growth and employment, something that recently led to a coveted Times Higher Education award.

Here, Professor Richard Hall, Director of IISE, gives his personal review of the work and IISE’s commitment to working to support innovation amongst the region’s manufacturers.

The Institute for Innovation in Sustainable Engineering (IISE) opened its doors in 2014 to make the University of Derby’s engineering expertise more accessible to local businesses. IISE was created in response to calls from local industry for access to research and development facilities with the latest technologies.

The ambition for the facility is to provide businesses of all sizes with innovation and technology support, paying particular attention to small and medium-sized enterprises. Some of our clients have found that the large advanced manufacturing research facilities are a bridge too far when wanting to embark on an innovation or a research and development project with a University.

In its first year, a strategic board of significant local companies formed to give industry direction and pledged £6.3 million in support and equipment. Working with industry partners, IISE now boasts:

  • Meeting rooms and an Active Learning Lab; providing the innovation and idea generation ‘headspace’
  • A growing team of dedicated industry-focused specialists with expertise in: energy and the environment, electronics and sensors, advanced manufacturing to provide advice, technical support, and collaborative research
  • A suite of DMG Mori machining equipment and coordinate measurement machines (CMM) from Eley Metrology and Renishaw
  • An additive manufacturing workshop, which includes a range of 3D printers which can print in a variety of materials, including the Mark One 3D printer from Creat3d which can print in Carbon fibre, Kevlar, or Fiberglass and the Renishaw AM 250 for additive manufacture of metal via selective laser melting
  • Design and simulation suite with MSC Software, Delcam and IPI solutions software for first article inspection and new product introduction
  • Simulation and virtual reality suite, including World Viz and Oculus Rift systems

Here at IISE, we offer a range of business services, and can help companies access financial support such as Knowledge Transfer Partnerships from Innovate UK, our ‘Invest to Grow’ Fund, and ‘Time to Innovate’ initiative, which have been supported by D2N2 – the Local Enterprise Partnership for Derbyshire and Nottinghamshire. We are serious about business and keen to engage with local industry to support innovation, wealth and job creation in the region.

IISE is about bringing people together in an environment in which ideas can be generated and explored, where research, skills development and innovation deliver real and sustainable change for the local and regional economy.

For more information about IISE, visit: www.derby.ac.uk/research/iise/  or to find out more about the University of Derby’s Knowledge Transfer Partnerships, visit: www.derby.ac.uk/business-services/knowledge-transfer/partnerships/.