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Westminster awarded grant to develop drug-free antibacterial materials

7 May 2015

As part of the €3.9m (£2.8m) HyMedPoly project the University of Westminster has been awarded a grant of €877,662 (£631,531) funded by the European Commission to train PhD researchers for the development of drug-free antibacterial materials used for medical applications, such as wound care and implants.

Biomedical polymers have been widely used in combination with drugs in medical settings but a challenge has arisen to develop new materials that have an intrinsic antibacterial functionality. To meet this need, a new generation of professionals will be trained under the project “Drug-Free Antibacterial Hybrid Biopolymers for Medical Applications (HyMedPoly)”.  

HyMedPoly will engage 15 young PhD researchers to create and implement new strategies to combat bacteria. Four of these researchers will be registered with the University of Westminster, jointly supervised with Vornia Ltd, Ireland and Universitätsklinikum Knappschaftskrankenhaus Bochum, Germany.

The four-year long project has received funding from the European Union’s Horizon 2020 research and innovation programme under the Marie Sklodowska-Curie grant agreement No 643050. It forms part of the European Commission's initiative to develop European Industrial Doctorates with equal exposure to academics and industry, allowing them to combine research knowledge with business acumen.  

HyMedPoly will offer a joint training programme at world class academic and industrial institutes, combining technical knowledge with hands-on training in state-of-the-art research projects related to key issues that determine the future therapies of antibacterial materials.

Dr Ipsita Roy, Head of the Applied Biotechnology Research Cluster and Research Coordinator at the Department of Life Sciences in our Faculty of Science and Technology, said: “This European Industrial Doctorates programme will allow the University to be involved in PhD projects directly linked to the industry in the area of drug-free antibacterial polymers, an unmet area of medical materials with very high demand and need. The ultimate goal will be the development of highly-skilled professionals that will play a pivotal role in production of advanced medical products for hospitals and personal health care, with the potential to enhance the UK and EU economy as well as contributing to the improvement of quality of life for all.”

Dr Roy, Scientific Coordinator of HyMedPoly and academic training partner in the project, will work collaboratively with nine other European consortium partners:

  • LUCIDEON Limited, United Kingdom (Industry), Coordinator
  • Politecnico di Torino, Italy (Academic partner)
  • Friedrich-Alexander-Universität Erlangen-Nürnberg, Germany (Academic partner)
  • Vornia Limited, Ireland (Industry)
  • University of Southampton, United Kingdom (Academic partner)
  • Universitätsklinikum Knappschaftskrankenhaus Bochum, Germany (Medical partner)
  • IK4-Tekniker,Spain (Research Institute)
  • Eurescom, Germany (Industry)
  • Fraunhofer Gesellschaft, Germany (Research Institute)

For further information and to speak to Dr Ipsita Roy, please contact:

Sarah Evans-Toyne, Chiara Barreca or Arran Fano
Broadgate Mainland
E: [email protected]
T: +44(0) 20 7726 6111

About the University of Westminster:

The University of Westminster boasts a vibrant learning environment attracting more than 20,000 students from over 150 nations and we continue to invest in our future with new developments, research projects and new ideas.

We offer highly attractive practice-based courses that are independently rated as excellent, many with international recognition. Our distinguished 180-year history has meant we lead the way in many areas of research, particularly politics, media, art and design, architecture and biomedical sciences, and our position in the city of London allows us to continue to build on our close connections with leading figures and organisations in these areas as well as in the worlds of business, information technology, politics and law.

Our commitment to educating graduates for the needs of professional life attracts high quality students from within the UK and around the globe.

Internationalisation, employability and sustainability are key elements in the University of Westminster’s vision for the future and we strive to ensure the very highest standards are met and maintained.

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