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Synthetic supermaterials R&D facility to be established at Harwell

09 May 2012

Element Six, a global leader in synthetic diamond supermaterials, has announced that it will invest £20m constructing the world’s largest and most sophisticated synthetic supermaterials research and development facility at Harwell, Oxford. When complete in Spring 2013, the new centre will consolidate Element Six’s global R&D teams into one integrated centre and create around 50 new science jobs.

The Harwell site
The Harwell site

Element Six was recently awarded a Queen’s Award for Enterprise in Innovation for the synthetic diamond speaker dome used in the Bowers & Wilkins 800 Diamond Series loudspeakers. Other innovative uses of Element Six synthetic diamond include optics to enable the highest power levels achievable in CO2 lasers for automotive engineering, as semiconductors in the Large Hadron Collider, as detectors in medical radiotherapy, as cutters for the fastest rates of penetration in oil and gas drilling, and to enable picks used during road re-surfacing and repair to last up to 40 times longer than standard road picks.

Cyrus Jilla, Element Six CEO commented: “I am proud we selected the UK as the best location globally for our Innovation Centre. I am positive it will deliver higher performance products for our customers, disruptive technologies for new applications and markets, inspire and spur new related businesses in the UK, and provide an extremely rewarding environment for our scientists who are at the forefront of their field.”

UK Trade & Investment supported Element Six by proposing and advising on potential locations, organising site visits, facilitating meetings with site owners and developers, preparing bespoke research and bringing in the expertise in the councils, Local Economic Partnerships, academic institutions and research partners.

Business secretary Vince Cable said the investment by Element Six "....shows that the UK is a great place for innovative and cutting edge industries to invest. Along with a real boost to the local economy, providing around 50 new highly skilled engineering jobs, the investment shows that the Oxford region is a world leading location for hi-tech research, and that the UK is open for business.”

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