Government minister opens leading European research lab

Friday 19 October 2012
Michael Fallon MP
Michael Fallon MP (left)
Business and Enterprise Minister Michael Fallon, has opened Europe’s most advanced facility for creating energy efficient glass and met with leaders of businesses working on low carbon technology during a visit to the University of Salford today (19 October).

Mr Fallon, who is the Minister for the low carbon economy and construction, officially opened the University’s new Wolfson Chemical Vapour Deposition (CVD) Laboratory which has been funded by a £250,000 Wolfson Foundation Grant from the Royal Society. The new labs will allow research and product development for depositing thin coatings onto glass that reduce heat loss from windows.

The Minister also met with business leaders who have worked with the University at its Energy Hub, a research centre dedicated to low carbon business which brings together leading researchers with state-of-the-art facilities such as the Energy House – a 1919 terraced house reconstructed in an environmentally-controlled chamber.

Mr Fallon spent time with leaders of large businesses such as Dr Mike Peasland, Managing Director of Balfour Beatty, Building and Construction, which has strong training and research links with Salford’s School of the Built Environment.

He also met SME representatives who have worked with the University to test, develop and market new products. One such example is Furlong Innovations which developed the ‘CombiSave’ product which reduces both gas and water consumption within combi-boilers. From an initial design brought to the team at Salford, a process of development and testing has led to thousands of units being ordered by two of the big six energy suppliers to fit with all new boilers they’re installing.

Mr Fallon said: “Building a low carbon economy requires academia and business working together, with the full support of government. Reducing the carbon footprint of our buildings, and the construction sector more widely is a vital part of making that happen. The University of Salford is at the forefront of research in this area and I’m very pleased to be able to open this innovative centre.”

The University of Salford’s Vice-Chancellor, Professor Martin Hall, welcomed the Minister to the Energy Hub. “Salford is taking a lead within the University sector in working with businesses of all sizes to address issues of energy use,” he said. “I’d like to take this opportunity to thank the Wolfson Foundation for their generous grant that has enabled the construction of this new facility.”

“I’d also like to thank the Minister for opening our new labs and taking the time to see how facilities, academics and partnerships work together at this university to reduce carbon emissions.”

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