University of Southampton to lead project that will help improve competitiveness of SMEs in the Chemical industry

Monday 04 September 2017

Acronym: LabFact
Duration: 04/2017- 03/2021 (48 months)
Total budget: € 5,738,426
ERDF: €3,959,513

The University of Southampton will lead a project that aims to use the latest technology and developments in the chemical industry to help improve competitiveness of SMEs based in the South of England and the North of France.

The project, known as LabFact, will unite world-class research centres in the Channel area to support and train SMEs on clean and environmentally friendly ways to manufacture fine chemicals via a series of development courses and consultation services.

These training sessions will allow smaller companies in the industry to learn cutting-edge production techniques which will in-turn help unlock new, low cost and low waste manufacturing opportunities.

The project will also develop and make available 1000 new ‘chemical scaffolds’ (molecules that can be easily modified). They play an important role in providing pharmaceutical, agrochemical and biotech industries with a rapid means to develop new products such as next generation medicines and agrochemicals.

By developing and supporting the implementation of this new chemical technology the project will help improve the attractiveness and competitiveness of companies based in the Channel area, cutting the current trend which has seen more and more jobs in the industry moved to Asia where employment costs are less.

The chemical sector is hugely important to both the French and UK economy, representing a combined turnover of 119 billion euros.