Research firm hoping tobring hi-tech jobs to Eden

Date: Friday 8th December 2017

AN Eden-based firm is hoping to bring new hi-tech jobs to the Penrith area following its recent collaboration with a Shanghai-based business as well as Chinese and UK universities.

MatSurf Ltd., a scientific research and technology company based near Little Salkeld, operates in the areas of carbon materials, surface engineering, composites, smart filters, sensors and biomaterials.

Professor Robert Bradley, MatSurf managing director, said the firm was working to develop a range of intelligent filter systems and sensors to tackle air pollution, car exhaust and factory emissions.

He said air filtration units were important because pollution had been identified as a big problem in China’s large cities such as Shanghai and Beijing.

Prof. Bradley, who also holds a position at Oxford, said: “The idea is we may do some manufacturing in the UK which would be great for Cumbria.

“We are looking to establish an outpost — either a headquarters or a headquarters and a small manufacturing facility. It started two weeks ago so we are in the very early stages. We do need the Local Enterprise Partnership and Chamber of Commerce to get behind it.”

He added they already had the backing of the British Government, with funding from Innovate UK, and the ultimate aim was to employ more people in the area.

“It takes time,” he said. “It has to be a slow process — building on a good foundation and showing people what we can do which is where we are now.

“This is an excellent opportunity to bring some hi-tech business into the Penrith area but we do need local support. We do want to export technology to China — we don’t want it the other way round.”

In September MatSurf won major funding from a joint UK-China competition for advanced manufacturing and green technology run by Innovate UK.