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Surface Technology Systems' Investment in UCL Aims to Place UK at Forefront of Nanotechnology Research

New Professorial Role to Drive Research and Cement Business and Academia Links


CARDIFF, England, Feb. 24 /PRNewswire/ -- Surface Technology Systems plc (STS), (FTSE: SRTS), and Sumitomo Precision Products Co., Ltd. (SPP) today announced its plans to create a new professorial chair at the London Centre for Nanotechnology (LCN) and the Department of Electronic and Electrical Engineering at University College London (UCL).


The new professorial appointment, will sit at the LCN and work to strengthen the relationship between STS and the educational organizations and pursue research in a number of important areas. The role will be particularly geared towards producing new nanotechnology devices, materials and processes for a range of important applications. This will enable a growing range of commercial, scientific, engineering and biomedical applications and produce real economic and societal impact through the creation of new healthcare, IT and environmental products.


The chair has been endowed by STS and SPP and represents an important Japanese investment into the UK. The UK is particularly strong in the nanotechnology arena, with the LCN a highly visible player leading some of the UK's largest nano and bio-nano initiatives. The LCN is also extremely well connected to the rest of the world and so can be viewed as an international hub -- particularly as it is the only center based in a metropolis. This investment leverages and builds on the LCN's existing strengths and combines them with the substantial skills of STS and SPP in the nanotechnology area.


"Nanotechnology is widely acknowledged by the technical, commercial and investment communities as a key enabling technology of the future," said Andrew Chambers, technology director at STS. "This investment by STS in the professorial chair at LCN will drive state-of-the-art research and place the UK amongst the world leaders in this influential field."


In the last two years, Nanotechnology has attracted strong investment and interest from both the private and public sectors. Applications already developed include the production of high performance materials for aircraft and automobiles and the creation of synthetic bone material for use in medical procedures where natural bone has been damaged or removed.


The LCN is a brand new, UK-based multidisciplinary research organization located in the heart of London's West End. It is structured to form a bridge between the physical and biomedical sciences, with a unique strategy and clear focus on exploitation and commercialization. A joint venture, the LCN brings together two of the world's leading institutions in nanotechnology -- University College London and Imperial College London -- in a unique operating model. The center offers laboratory and office space that accesses the combined skills of eight departments, including medicine, physics, electrical and electronic engineering, materials and earth science. The LCN conducts world-class research in to the area of healthcare, information technology and the environment.


About Surface Technology Systems plc


STS designs and manufactures a range of highly specialized systems incorporating innovative technology used in the production of semiconductors and semiconductor-related devices and is a leader in plasma based etch and deposition technologies for processing semiconductor materials. STS serves a range of applications outside the 'mainstream' semiconductor market in several emerging sectors within the telecommunications, information technology and new MEMS and Nanotechnology applications.


STS is the market leader in deep silicon etching for the growing MEMS market, offering patent-protected technology. In addition, STS has a strong presence in each of its other served markets and distributes its process solutions worldwide through an experienced sales and service operation. The Group currently markets in over 30 countries and has an installed base of over 750 systems. For more information about STS please see http://www.stsystems.com/ .


About Sumitomo Precision Products Co., Ltd.


SPP has expanded from their core field of aerospace products into a diverse range of industrial markets, such as heat exchangers and heat-control systems, industrial machinery employing hydraulic control, cryopumps, ozone generators and their own unique motion sensors. Having begun supplying equipment for semiconductor manufacturing in 1986, SPP purchased STS in 1995 and currently retain approximately three quarters of the shares after the flotation of STS on the London Stock Exchange in 2000.


Source: Surface Technology Systems plc

CONTACT: Michelle Bourke of Surface Technology Systems, +44-1633-652438,
or michelle.bourke@stsystems.co.uk; or media, Mark Button of Positio Public
Relations, +1-408-453-2400, or mark@positio.com, for Surface Technology
Systems


Web site: http://www.stsystems.com/

 

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