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New University Research Institute

13 January 2014

Cardiff Catalysis Centre becomes Institute

Wales' Chief Scientific Adviser joined a number of the world's experts in catalysis to congratulate the Cardiff Catalysis Institute on becoming a University Research Institute.

Already recognised as a centre of excellence for catalysis research within the UK, the Institute's new designation reflects the impact of its research in tackling global challenges and the key role it will play in developing the University's research excellence infrastructure.

Established in 2008 in the School of Chemistry, the work of the Institute has led to a number of advancements in faster, cleaner and more economic industrial processes. A team of more than 90, it already has strong industrial links in such areas as low carbon processes and new uses for waste products. The research strength has been recognised with a number of international awards, including Professor Hutchings' Fellowship of the Royal Society for his transformation of gold's role as a catalyst in such uses as chemicals manufacture.

On congratulating the Institute, Professor Julie Williams, Welsh Government's Chief Scientific Adviser for Wales, said: "Through the work of the Cardiff Catalysis Institute, Wales is on the world stage in this commercially important field, while also delivering major opportunities for Welsh businesses to develop sustainable manufacturing processes. I congratulate the Institute on this achievement."

Catalysis is vital for many areas of the UK economy, from food production to pharmaceuticals. Most recently, the Institute has been awarded €4M by the European Commission to lead a project involving seven countries and 11 organisations with the aim of cleaning up industrial water pollution.

The PCTADES Consortia project's end goal is to develop a solar powered, photocatalytic waste water treatment system, capable of separating organic matter from water – a process current biological methods are not able to achieve. It is hoped that this work will help to clean up pollutants from waste water associated with small scale, industrial activities, such as fisheries and palm oil production.

Professor Graham Hutchings FRS, Director of the Cardiff Catalysis Institute, said: "Becoming a University Research Institute will provide us with a springboard on which to grow and maintain our world-leading programme of catalytic science. Our aim is to continue to develop new knowledge and promote innovation in and translation of catalytic science and technology and this latest development will enable the CCI to be amongst the top catalysis research centres worldwide."

Professor Karen Holford, Pro Vice-Chancellor, College of Physical Sciences & Engineering said: "The Cardiff Catalysis Institute is a beacon of excellence for the University. Its agenda-setting research which is truly global in impact will continued to enhance the University's position on an increasingly competitive international stage."