North Wales company benefitting from POWIS initiative

Posted on 13 December 2010
We are pleased to announce that two Prince of Wales Innovation Scholars (POWIS) have joined Gluco Technology Limited in North Wales, a company which develops high performance adhesives for high tech industries as well as having a significant consultancy activity based on their long-standing involvement in the polymerisation reaction engineering field i.e. all aspects of polymers and polymer matrix composites from bench-scale synthesis of materials for targeted applications through to full-scale manufacturing methods for a range of industrial sectors.

Supported by the company, the scholars are to undertake investigations to support and sustain technical developments and aid with the commercialisation of products in markets such as the automotive, general engineering, biomedical, pharmaceutical and many others where technical excellence is essential for success.

Sian Roberts is one of the candidates to be awarded the prestigious POWIS scholarship. Her PhD research theme is Novel Adhesives for Advanced Engineering Applications and she has been registered at Glyndwr University. Her research involves studying the mechanism of bonding and the design of new advanced adhesives to support the existing markets in which Gluco Technology Limited is already active and to assist in opening up new applications and markets. for high performance adhesives and composite products.

Commenting on her experience so far, working with Gluco Technology and POWIS, Sian said:

“Early experiences of the POWIS Scholarship and Gluco Technology Limited is excellent. There has been an outstanding support from both the POWIS team and its network as well as from the company from the outset. Interactions have always been thought provoking and challenging and I am looking forward with much anticipation to my research over the next three years”

Rob Ashworth is the second person to be awarded the scholarship. His PhD registration is also with Glyndwr University with the theme Novel Composite Structures: Bonding and Properties. This research is also being carried out in the context of the needs of Gluco and an aim is to fully understand how generic reactive processing methods involving new polymer-based materials or composites and the innovative technologies which they might require can lead to the launch of new technical products and processes for selected commercial sectors. i.e systems which lead to materials with better properties or are easier to manufacture or have a lower cost.

Commenting on working with POWIS and Gluco, Rob said:

“So far my experience with working with POWIS and Gluco has been very positive. The POWIS staff have been very helpful in assisting with all aspects of the Scholarship from registration to facilitating distance-learning lectures. The Gluco team have shared fully their technologies and knowledge with me and are pushing my project forward in a thought-provoking way.”

Professor A F Johnson, CEO, and Dr S S F Wong, Technical Director, Gluco Technology Limited added:

“The company is very pleased with the support it has received from the POWIS team - and not only in relation to the administrative matters to do with the POWIS awards themselves. The key attractions of the POWIS scheme is the fact that intellectual property stemming from the research can be retained by the company and the fact that students are positively encouraged by the University of Wales to attend courses and to take an active interest in the ways in which their research programmes can impact on the commercial health of the company. Indeed, for a small company such as ours, one of the longer term hopes is that the students will wish to continue working towards its further development after graduation.”

As part of the POWIS scholarship, Global Academy runs innovation training residential courses twice a year. The residential innovation training courses are free to companies, scholars and academics working with the Global Academy. The courses focus on main areas such as innovation policy management, entrepreneurship, project management and intellectual property commercialisation.

The residential programmes and course sessions are run by some of world’s leading thinkers, e.g. academics from MIT Sloan School. These events are carefully programmed to support wider innovation and R&D needs of the companies.

POWIS is an innovative £11.4 million initiative, managed by the University of Wales Global Academy programme, which brings the private sector in Wales together with higher education and bright young graduates from anywhere in the world. Launched formally last year by HRH The Prince of Wales, each scholarship is worth £100,000. The scheme will provide 100 world-class graduates to Welsh businesses between 2009 and 2014, supporting them through a programme that is amongst the best financially supported PhD packages in the world.

POWIS is part-funded by the European Regional Development Fund (ERDF) through the European Union’s Convergence programme administered by the Welsh Assembly Government, private sector investment and the University of Wales’ own funds. The University is actively seeking new companies and research projects all year round.


Notes to Editors:

The University of Wales is part of the University of Wales Alliance which also includes Swansea Metropolitan University; Glyndŵr University; University of Wales Institute, Cardiff (UWIC); University of Wales, Newport and the University of Wales Trinity Saint David. The University of Wales Alliance aims to enrich and enhance Higher Education in Wales.

For more information about the University of Wales's Global Academy please visit:

For more information on The University of Wales please visit:

For press and media information, please contact Communications Officer, Tomas Llewelyn Barrett

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