ISO 9001 & UKAS Registered, Electron Beam Services in the United Kingdom ISO 9001 & UKAS Registered, Electron Beam Services in the United Kingdom

29/01/17

Earlier this week the prime minister Theresa May unveiled a new Industrial Strategy designed to bolster the UK’s economy and strengthen it across the board.

Under the proposals, funding will be provided to support industries that are considered strengths for the country. The strategy includes a boost to research and development activities in sectors such as robotics and artificial intelligence and smart energy technologies.

Among the industries that have been working with the government on the strategy are life sciences, manufacturing, nuclear and those focused on ultra-low emissions vehicles.

PharmaTimes reported that the announcement was well received by the life sciences industry.

KPMG global lead for life sciences Chris Stirling commented that the funding and additional support “will focus on encouraging companies, particularly smaller businesses, to be more innovative and to make better use of technology developments including artificial intelligence and robotics”.

Steve Bates, chief executive of the Bioindustry Association, was also positive about the role life sciences will play in the UK’s growth plans going forward.

Skills development is another key part of this new strategy, with the STEM (science, technology, engineering and maths) a particular focus at every level of education.

The government pointed out that the approach it is taking to develop these sectors will follow a similar pattern to how it already works with the aerospace and automotive industries, citing the Aerospace Growth Partnership as a particular success story.

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19/01/17
Faroe Petroleum, an independent oil and gas company that primarily focuses on exploration, has started a new exploration well in the western part of the Norwegian Barents Sea.

The new well, named Boné prospect (formerly known as Dazzler), has been chosen following an oil and gas discovery in its Brasse well in July last year. As a result of this discovery, the firm has committed to the drilling of an appraisal well on this site in the middle of 2017, in partnership with Odfjell Drilling.

Under the Boné exploration, the company will primarily be targeting the Jurassic Stø- and Nordmela sandstones, while there is also a secondary target within the Triassic Fruholmen and Snadd sandstone formations.

The company will be utilising the Scarabeo 8 drilling rig for this project, and will announce its discoveries on its completion.

Chief executive of Faroe Petroleum Graham Stewart explained that Boné is the company’s first exploration well of the new year.

He commented: “This high impact well will test a large horst structure with very significant volume potential.”

Faroe Petroleum is not the only organisation focusing on high impact exploration activities in 2017, with Offshore magazine reporting that BP is targeting a number of high impact wells in the coming 12 months, with the petroleum giant farming into five licenses in the Shetlands area at the end of 2016.

BP has partnered with a number of other companies to carry out various drilling activities aimed at bolstering its UK offshore production.

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05/01/17

Claims that it would be impossible for Formula One racing teams to control their costs have been dismissed by one team principal.

Speaking to Motorsport.com, Franz Tost, team principal at Toro Rosso, described such claims as “nonsense”, explaining that he knows exactly how much each screw costs his team.

He was responding to comments by the likes of Ferrari president Sergio Marchionne, who has previously said that he doesn’t believe spending caps will work within F1.

However, Tost is in favour of limits being imposed on the motorsport, and believes that in the long run, manufacturers will also support this decision.

“We need to reduce the costs. It shouldn’t be that team spends 450 million euros a year. On the other hand, we bargain for a few cents when it comes to road cars,” he stated.

Tost also said that, despite protestations from some, if the FIA imposed financial penalties on teams that didn’t report their spending accurately, or that overspent on the allocated amount, that they would all soon fall into line.

Meanwhile, McLaren’s racing director Eric Boullier told Autosport that the team’s Honda engines need further development, and claimed that McLaren would have won races this season if it had had the best engine available.

However, he explained that engine development has to go hand in hand with improvements made to the chassis of the car, because everything in the design is connected.

Boullier added that these improvements cannot be made in a matter of months, it’s a long process that is likely to take a few years.

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03/01/17
Drones have evolved considerably in recent years, becoming smaller, more agile and more affordable than ever before. Retailer Amazon even made its first delivery by drone earlier this month, with plans to expand the service throughout 2017.

But now researchers at Switzerland’s Ecole Polytechnique Federale de Lausanne have suggested that drone developers within the aerospace industry should look to nature for some inspiration - namely birds.

In the research, which was originally published in the journal Interface Focus, the team suggested that if you want a small, aerodynamic craft that can manoeuvre quickly and easily you need to design drones that mimic birds.

Among their recommendations are for drones to have smaller, swept-back wings, and to feature flexible, folding artificial feathers on the ends of the wings. The institute’s researchers have even designed a prototype to demonstrate how the technology could be implemented.

These artificial feathers, which are made from fiberglass and a thin layer of nylon, can be controlled separately or as one, giving the drone much more manoeuverability than standard remote controlled craft.

While this new drone design is impressive, it’s far from ready to take to the skies on a large scale. As with any kind of aircraft, there will need to be rigorous testing of its parts to ensure they’re durable and safe, and that the drone can fly and be operated safely in an urban environment.

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