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Eleven of the brightest minds in business awarded Future Leaders Fellowships

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UKRI’s Future Leaders Fellowships (FLFs) scheme has awarded 11 successful candidates based within innovative UK businesses, as part of it’s £109 million investment in research and innovation leaders of the future.

During their fellowships, the Future Leaders will undertake ambitious and challenging work, from improving wheat production to meet increasing global demand, to the development and commercialisation of sustainable packaging solutions.

This is the second cohort of FLF award-winners in business. They follow on from the five successful business candidates who were awarded in round 3 of funding.

Meet our winners

Read on to find out about the exciting work that our business-based Future Leaders will tackle over the next four years:

John Baison from RAGT Seeds Ltd

John Baison will investigate the development of wheat varieties that contain specific DNA traits such as virus resistance, which make them a more reliable crop and reduce the need for pesticides.

This is essential given that bread wheat accounts for a fifth of the world’s food and it is estimated that productivity in Europe must double to keep pace with demand.

Robert Bell from C-Tech Innovation Ltd

Robert Bell will be leading a programme of work focussed on meeting the challenge of a sustainable manufacturing future, by exploring the creation of new technologies for low carbon manufacturing.

This important work will help the UK to reach the 2050 deadline for becoming carbon neutral.

Eloisa Bentivegna from IBM UK Ltd 

Eloise Bentivegna is working to discover rare, extreme behaviour in large-scale computational models and how artificial intelligence (AI) tools can better understand physical simulations.

With these answers, the exploration of any computational model becomes possible for a substantially lower cost, enhancing our ability to predict extreme events like natural disasters.

Greg Brittles from Tokamak Energy Ltd

Greg Brittles will address key challenges within the field of high temperature superconducting (HTS) magnets, to accelerate the development of HTS magnets for fusion energy and other applications.

This will support Tokamak Energy’s mission of delivering fusion as a clean and safe energy source by 2030.

Stephen Clement from Edgetic

Stephen Clement will use his fellowship to introduce a step-change to Data Centre efficiency by creating a holistic framework and using it in training advanced intelligent agents to achieve substantial energy reductions without affecting performance.

This is essential given that Data Centre energy usage could reach 10% of global consumption by 2030.

Xinjiang Hao from Liberty Powder Metals Ltd (UK)

Xinjiang Hao will lead a programme of work that aims to kick-start a transformation within the steel industry towards additive manufacturing.

This will have clear economic benefits by increasing UK competitiveness in this field and will contribute greatly to Liberty's target to be carbon neutral by 2030.

Izabela Jurewicz from Advanced Material Development

Izabela Jurewicz will be innovating colour-changing polymer-based photonic crystals, enhanced with graphene or other 2D nanomaterials.

These materials are promising for a range of novel and emerging sensing applications. Commercial innovation of novel photonic crystal devices and associated process will be supported by two UK universities and the High Value Manufacturing Catapult.

Ioanna Mylonaki from Sixfold Bioscience Ltd

Ioanna Mylonaki is exploring the untapped field of gene therapeutics delivery. She is leveraging Sixfold Bioscience's patent portfolio of RNA-based nanoparticles to deliver nucleic acids to target organs.

Her work aims to unlock the potential of gene therapies to treat debilitating diseases.

Jonathan Stewart from CATAGEN Ltd

Jonathan Stewart will seek to develop an entirely new process for the design and specification of after-treatment systems for motorcycles, using a mix of the simulation and testing tools available within CATAGEN.

At a time when the impact of vehicle emissions on air quality is driving the automotive industry to find new solutions for reduced emissions, this work could be a potential new revenue stream for the business.

Carolin Struller from Bobst Manchester Ltd

Carolin Struller will undertake a portfolio of projects working on the development, characterisation, promotion and commercialisation of sustainable flexible barrier packaging solutions, enabling more sustainable flexible packaging solutions and associated processes to be placed onto the market.

This will be readily noticeable to the consumer and support the achievement of the 2025 sustainability pledges of global brand owners and retailers.

Zoe Tolkien from Advanced Furnace Technology Ltd

Zoe Tolkien is developing new, advanced graphite coated parts for the silicon carbide semiconductor market which is critical to a range of new clean  technologies, from electric cars to solar and wind power generators.

Zoe will be heading a research  & development team to develop this innovation, which will support a new generation of experience and expertise within Advanced Furnace Technology.

Find out more

The next round of the UKRI Future Leaders Fellowships scheme (round 6) opens for applicants on 10 November 2020. More information, guidance documents and key dates can be found on the Future Leaders Fellowships webpage.

*All awards are made subject to financial checks


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1 comment

  1. Comment by Graham. A.B. Edwards posted on

    so why are we not included ??? as a group of research workers at Manchester University & later at Trantor Internarional Ltd. ????