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30th October 2013

Sharp Laboratories engineers awarded £80k Fellowships for groundbreaking research

30 October 2013: Two Sharp Laboratories of Europe engineers have been awarded Industrial Fellowships, worth £80,000, by the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851. Only eight Industrial Fellowships are awarded each year, providing young scientists and engineers with the means to develop an innovative commercial technology with the potential to secure a patent, while completing a PhD.

Campbell Brown, a Research Scientist, in Sharp Laboratories healthcare team, is working with the University of Southampton to develop a 'Laboratory on a chip' for a wide variety of applications, one example of which is rapid detection of antibiotic resistant infections.

James Dimmock, a Senior Researcher in Sharp Laboratories solar team, is working with Imperial College London to develop high efficiency solar cells, which generate significantly more power than traditional cells through transforming the sun into a laser.

First established by Prince Albert to stage the Great Exhibition of 1851 in the eponymous Crystal Palace, the Royal Commission now awards a number of fellowships and grants to support industrial education. The Industrial Fellowships form a crucial part of this work, with the specific aim of encouraging profitable innovation in British industry.

Campbell and James were recognised at an award ceremony attended by the Rt Hon David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science.

Campbell said: "The Industrial Fellowship was particularly interesting for me as it involves combining academic research with real world application and the scope to be multidisciplinary. I have a broad scientific interest, spanning both physics and chemistry, so this breadth fits well with my background.

"The great thing about the fellowship is that it doesn't just help industry solve technology problems, it also gives scientists and engineers the head space to generate ideas for the future. It also facilitates collaboration, which is increasingly important, as nobody knows everything."

James said: "The Fellowship is invaluable as it allows me to further develop my research into hot carrier solar cells, working in collaboration with Imperial College, while also getting involved in the technical aspects of Sharp's solar business across the UK.

"When working in a commercial environment finding time to carry out fundamental research is difficult. The Royal Commission funding has given me the chance to do that, while furthering my career and gaining a PhD."

James has been selected as this year's ERA Foundation Fellow, an award for a candidate from the electro-technology sector made possible by a generous donation from the ERA Foundation.

Ian Thompson, Managing Director, Sharp Laboratories said:
"Sharp Laboratories prides itself on attracting and retaining the most talented scientists and engineers through providing them with the best opportunities. The Industrial Fellowship allows our young researchers to continue their professional education through doing a PhD, while also helping their career development and ensuring we maintain strong links to academia.

"The scheme also feeds into our changing innovation model. Now the pace of technology change is so fast, open collaboration is even more important. The Fellowship gives James and Campbell the scope to lead a collaboration project themselves, while the grant to attend conferences is invaluable for furthering the development of their technical skills."

Bernard Taylor, Chairman of the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851, said: "The Commission aims to encourage innovation across the whole breadth and depth of British industry in the 21st century. Campbell and James' work is a perfect example of this diversity, which also fulfils the Fellowship's aim to fund the development of profitable and patented technologies. We congratulate Campbell and James on their success so far and look forward to following their success in the future."

David Clark, Executive Secretary of the ERA Foundation, commented: "The ERA Foundation contributes to the economic vitality of the UK by raising the profile of engineering, supporting young engineers at formative stages of their careers, and investing in early stage technology companies.

"The Foundation is proud to be one of the supporters of the 1851 Industrial Fellowship Awards. These prestigious awards allow the 'brightest and the best' of our engineering talent in industry to enhance their qualifications even further to the very highest levels. UK economic competitiveness requires the nation to continue to produce world-class engineers, and the 1851 Industrial Fellowship Awards are helping to realise this ambition."

Campbell Brown receiving the Industrial Fellowship award from the Rt Hon David Willetts Campbell Brown (above) and James Dimmock (below) receiving the Industrial Fellowship award from the Rt Hon David Willetts, Minister for Universities and Science.

About the Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851
The Royal Commission for the Exhibition of 1851 offers major awards to scientists and engineers for research, development and design. First established to stage the Great Exhibition in 1851, the Royal Commission's extraordinary history is founded on an inspired vision of the importance of education to economic success.

Awarded to eight science and engineering graduates annually, the Industrial Fellowships form a crucial part of the Commission's work, with the specific aim of encouraging profitable innovation in British industry.

Each three-year Fellowship is worth over £80,000 and those awarded must work to develop a patented and profitable technology, while completing a PhD or EngD.

About Sharp Laboratories of Europe Ltd
Sharp Laboratories of Europe Ltd is wholly owned by Sharp Corporation and is based on the Oxford Science Park. Established in 1990 Sharp Laboratories undertakes research and development into a range of technologies and new products including health, energy, displays, components and systems.

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Campbell Brown receiving the Industrial Fellowship award from the Rt Hon David Willetts

Campbell Brown (above) and James Dimmock (below) receiving the Industrial Fellowship award from the Rt Hon David Willetts

James Dimmock receiving the Industrial Fellowship award from the Rt Hon David Willetts